DirecTV’s (DTV) Voodoo Broadband

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DirecTV (DTV) is setting up a partnership with Current Group to sell broadband that is delivered over powerlines. The product uses the existing wiring from the utilities to send a high speed signal that can be used for internet connections and VoIP.

The technology for using electrical wiring to deliver internet signals has been around for several years and is already used to power security cameras and home audio. It is only recently that it has been deployed on a larger scale. A small number of tiny public companies like Ambient (ABTG) have been working with utility companies for several years.

The big problem with the DirecTV plan is that Current only has deployments in Cincinnati and Dallas. It may take years for the company to set up distribution with other utilities operators.

By then, AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) will be in the market full force with their fiber-to-the-home products locked in a fight to the death with cable. It will be too late for DirecTV to have much of a piece of the market. And, with only TV and no voice or broadband, sat TV will be the odd man out.

Douglas A. McIntyre