Manassas, Va. retires its BPL Internet service

Broadband over Powerline (BPL) may still have some promise in smart grid and even in home networking applications, but using it as a broadband service alternative continues to be a struggle. Case in point is the City of Manassas, Va.

Although once touted as "the most successful BPL deployment in the nation," the city finally decided to cut its losses and get out of the business for good. Based on a recommendation from the Manassas Utilities Commission, the Manassas City Council voted to shut down its BPL Internet service in July. Overall, BPL served a small customer base of about 520 residential and business users, who were advised to find a new broadband service provider.

Despite its early promise, Manassas' BPL service not only caused interference with licensed ham radio operators, but it was also a financial drain. The city said that the service was losing $166,000 annually.

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