by Gary Beach

From the Publisher – The Myth of Web 2.0

Apr 01, 20062 mins

All the talk these days is about Web 2.0 and the ways business will be able to leverage it to foster commerce in 2006 and beyond. But I recently had a Web 1.0 experience that was all too typical.

I was visiting my in-laws. I needed to log on to the Web and sat down at their PC to do so. I finally got on but…it was an agonizingly slow process. My in-laws connect to the Web through a dial-up modem.

Of course, most CIO readers have high-speed connections to the Internet at work and probably at home too. But the experience I had at my in-laws is the norm for your customers. In fact, according to published reports, about 70 million of the 120 million households in America with an Internet connection log on via telephone dial-up.

That’s 70 million households—and hundreds of millions of customers—for whom going online is both tedious and time-consuming. Consequently, it’s not all that easy to sell them anything through the Web no matter how user-friendly your site may be. But that could change very quickly.

Get out your pens and write down these three letters: BPL. It’s a term coined by the Federal Communications Commission and it stands for broadband over power lines. Type BPL into your favorite search engine and learn all you can.

Until BPL came along, households had two major options for high-speed connectivity: DSL lines from telephone companies and cable lines from cable operators. Now BPL brings a third option that is both exciting and incredibly simple.

BPL technology has the potential to bring high-speed Internet connectivity to any home that has a power line connected to it and is equipped with a BPL modem. It plugs into any electrical outlet. The entire town of Manassas, Va., is connected via BPL, and parts of New York City and Cincinnati are also experimenting with it.

BPL is an electrifyingly simple approach to getting more American households wired for the coming broadband world of Web 2.0. I would recommend you call your local utility to ask about it.