According to West Technology Research Solutions, the latest and greatest idea for solving the famous "last mile" problem for transmitting high bandwidth information to the home will use natural gas as the medium.
It's an interesting concept. Just to confirm: The transmissions are wireless, they don't utilize the metal pipe that is used to deliver gas service into so many homes. Therefore, the idea is just as valid with non-metal pipe that is coming into common use.
The Broadband-in-Gas (BiG) connection will be fast enough to deliver TV, phone and Web communications through the existing installed base of natural gas pipeline networks.
Here's the plan in brief:
- More than 70% of US home and 35% of businesses have natural gas connection. The pipes have very low noise floors little or no outside signal interference.
- Radar technologies will be utilized to transmit signals through the physical complexities of the gas line.
The missing piece in the scenario (it is probably covered in the research report) is the fact that utilities own the gas distribution networks. This means they will want a piece of the action.
And how are they likely to determine how much to charge to lease the BiG medium? They will look at other "last mile" costs and price accordingly. Gas pipe involved in local distribution typically isn't disturbed very often but when it is, there would be a problem with communications outages as well as gas outages.
But as long as the technology really works, it's worth pursuing. After all, having an additional competitor in the "last mile" game should make pricing more competitive.
For more details click over to the news release on the PR Web site. www.prweb.com/releases/2005/11/prweb307321.htm.