Friday, January 06, 2012

Major BPL Company to Shut Down

In the latest of a string of commercial Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) failures, International Broadband Electric Communications, Inc. (IBEC) is dropping its rural Internet service this month.

In a 12/23/11 letter over the signature of Scott E. Lee, the CEO, IBEC states:

It is with a very heavy heart, that we must inform you that IBEC will no longer be in a position to provide Internet service to your area.

We encourage all of you to pursue other options for your internet services as soon as possible. This includes your email service if you have an active @BPL,COOP email account. Please move to another email service as soon as possible.


Our demise, started with the April 27th storms of this year in Alabama, which destroyed over 3.2 Million in assets, which our Insurance Provider (CHUB) has refused to pay. We also lost a critical investment from an Investor commitment, due to these storms, putting IBEC into a negative financial situation. IBEC pursued assistance from RUS (our Federal Creditor at US Department of Agriculture), our vendors and endless potential buyers after these events without success.

It is doubtful that radio fans will be as heavy-hearted.  One might remember IBEC for another reason.  ARRL:

More than a year ago, the ARRL filed a complaint with the FCC, documenting ongoing harmful interference and egregious rules violations by IBEC-installed BPL systems in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Indiana. The ARRL had requested that the FCC “initiate immediately an enforcement proceeding regarding these BPL systems, and cause them to cease operation until such time as they are each in full compliance with the Commission’s Rules.” The ARRL even discovered IBEC BPL systems in operation that are not listed in the online BPL database -- another clear violation of the FCC rules, which require listing 30 days prior to initiation of service. To the ARRL’s knowledge, even as of today, the FCC has taken no enforcement action to correct these violations.

ARRL also notes that IBEC was the last BPL provider in the US that didn't notch amateur bands (a violation of FCC regulations).