PLDT shelves BPL plan

Dylan Bushell-Embling
27 Mar 2012

The Philippines' PLDT has revealed it has shelved a project to deliver broadband over powerline (BPL) to 4.5 million households.

PLDT president Napoleon Nazareno toldMalaya Business Insight that the company has determined that the project is not currently technically feasible.

The operator has been testing the feasibility of the project and BPL technology since 2009, in partnership with power company Meralco.

Testing had been scheduled to conclude at the end of 2011, but the trial period was extended into this year due to interference concerns.

According to Nazareno, the trials have demonstrated that it is not efficient to use BPL in the Philippines, considering the current circumstances of the nation's broadband and power consumption.

The project had been an attempt by PLDT to save on investments in broadband infrastructure. PLDT acquired a 20% stake in Meralco for 20.7 billion pesos ($480.7 million) in 2009 in connection with the partnership.

PLDT now plans to concentrate its efforts in the partnership on the deployment of smart grid technology instead of BPL.

Although it has been the subject of multiple trials around the world, BPL as a technology has never really caught on, due to interference issues and disinterest from utility companies.

As a result, BPL has already been declared dead multiple times.

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