UPDATED: Friday 10.24.08 5 PM EDT
Today we received a followup e-mail from Mr. Harry Mitchell with Verizon. He is continuing to look into the matter and has assured us that he will respond to the questions put forth.
By Tommy Stafford, NCL Web Edition 10.20.08
In the continuing saga with getting BPL up and running in Nelson County, Virginia we had another conversation with IBEC in Alabama today. Before I get into the details, let me say one thing and make it clear. I genuinely feel that IBEC is trying their level best to get this system up and going. Now that I am finally able to communicate with them, and in turn post updates here, I do get the feeling they are forthcoming in what’s going on. Have they been the best at this in the past, not at all, but I do believe this is the first time they have encountered such a complex situation as they currently have with Verizon.
IBEC is a relatively small company, but happens to be the largest distributor and installer of BPL in the country, an emerging relatively new technology. They have done this in many other areas of the country with no issues, Washington Island, WI, Martinsville, IN, Cullman, AL, to name a few. We do lots of firsts here in Nelson and this appears to be no exception. But again, these guys are trying, I firmly believe that, now more than ever.
Now on to the update. This afternoon Asa Gage, Director of Network Operations with IBEC called and briefed me on the status of things. As mentioned in our update last week here, Verizon halted plans to activate service to the BPL network based out of the Martins Store Substation. Last week I mentioned this was because of legal considerations, that was a because it may have been passed on from their legal department of at least reviewed, but this is definitely a safety and engineering issue, at least according to Verizon via my conversations with IBEC. For the record, incidentally, Verizon has yet to reply to any inquires we have put to them since last Thursday. None.
Asa told me Monday afternoon the hold up revolves around Verizon’s wanting to review exactly how BPL equipment is connected to their telephone network. It’s a lot more complex than that, but that’s fundamentally the issue. IBEC has now been asked by Verizon to supply various diagrams of how their gear is / or will be connected to Verizon. And for the record, since IBEC is the largest BPL supplier in the country, the have actually helped in designing or having input to the code (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, use as guidelines for the installation. According to Asa they have followed them to a “T” every step of the way.
The problems seem to be occurring because this is the first system where Verizon has ever hooked to a BPL network actually originating from an outside pole. In other instances they have always been hooked in a building, or similar structure. Again, IBEC has followed the standards set forth by IEEE all of the way.
Verizon has requested the diagrams and it “may” be as simple as reviewing them and that’ll be it. Personally I have my doubts, and since Verizon has thus far refused to communicate with us or anyone else, all we can do is guess at this point. Asa thinks it could be only a matter of a few days, and this might be over and the “switches” start getting flipped, so to speak.
It will be interesting to see what Verizon’s response will be after those diagrams have been delivered within the next 24 hours.
We will keep you posted, and at this point we again know nothing from Verizon in an official capacity. Their media spokesman for Virginia, Harry Mitchell, has not returned any e-mail requests since Thursday.
More as we know..