IBEC : BPL : Still Not Ready……..

The wait continues for BPL activation to customers in Nelson County, Virginia
The wait continues for BPL activation to customers in Nelson County, Virginia

Afton – Nelson County, Virginia
Friday afternoon IBEC prepaid customers received an e-mail blast regarding the status of BPL activation that was supposed to haven taken place by the end of this week. The history of BPL in Nelson County Virginia by clicking here. It’s not happening, at least not real soon. Martins Store customers may be waiting a long time depending on how quickly Verizon responds. More explanation in their e-mail below. Meanwhile, we still wait for Verizon to respond to our inquiries on their status. Mr. Harry Mitchell the PR rep for Verizon in Virginia has not responded to us since October 23, 2008. The silence from Verizon speaks volumes.

The specifics from IBEC:

From: “IBEC Customer Service”
Date: January 9, 2009 3:22:00 PM EST
To: “info”
Subject: Martins Store Broadband over Powerline Update January 9, 2009

Last week IBEC reported that Verizon had reviewed the results of soil testing at the Martins Store Substation and indicated that the results appeared acceptable. This week, IBEC received written confirmation from Verizon of that news along with a brief description of the next steps in their process.

The local Verizon office will now take the lead during this phase of the project and install another pedestal near their existing pedestal with a short fiber loop connection between the two units. IBEC is in touch with the local Verizon office and working to secure the earliest possible date for equipment installation. IBEC will then meet the Verizon technician and apply power to their new cabinet. We will update you as soon as we have that date. Once complete, Verizon will test the lines and turn them over to AT&T who will then test and turnover to IBEC. We are hoping that this will also be accomplished in an expedited fashion given the long delay.

Last week we also reported that the Tanbark Drive injection point would be active by the end of the week. Verizon did not complete their testing nor release those lines to AT&T. We expect this location to be released to AT&T for testing at the beginning of next week and hope to have the lines completely activated by the end of the week. As soon as this site is activated, IBEC will begin configuring the BPL network from their Network Operations Center in Alabama . Shortly after configuration, IBEC will start activating the first customers.

The injection point on Rockfish River Rd was powered up as of January 5 and testing of those lines has commenced. We understand that one of the circuit cards in this cabinet did not pass testing. Verizon has ordered spares and will install a replacement shortly. We are trying to partially activate this site, but have been unable to confirm with Verizon if the activation will be able to proceed while we are waiting on the spare card to arrive.

While IBEC is still waiting on the release of the lines serving the three injection points, it is very positive news that this project has shifted to the jurisdiction of the local Verizon offices where the engineers and crews are focused on completing the activation process. We should be able to configure our equipment in rapid succession once the task of connecting the BPL system to the Internet is done. IBEC will then be able to activate you and your neighbors.

Look for an update next week or as soon as any significant development occurs.

Thanks for your patience,
IBEC Customer Service


  1. This is the biggest croc I have ever heard. Verizon is not going to activate this stuff due to them not making any money. So the wait is over for me. I’m sending the modem back. I have had enough of this and if IBEC can’t fix this small complication then I don’t want their service!

  2. Yes, Janice we wish we could say otherwise. The possible good news, Ntelos continues to build out their cell / data sites here in Nelson. We understand they should have wireless broadband capability. At this pace it is highly likely they will be completed, on the air, and offering service to customers before BPL is every completed. We noticed culverts went in last week at the 151 site and some preliminary site work done. The rest will go rather quickly.

  3. We’ve actually been using ntelos broadband for a while now. They said we couldn’t receive it but, since we can see the tower, we tried it anyway. It took a little creativity to find the right spot for the receiver (at the highest point of the house) but it’s been working just fine.

  4. Janice, and the new sites they are putting up should be even better. You are probably looking at the Bear Den Mountain site, if I was guessing. We tried for that as well, but were just a tad too far south. The sites being installed now, I think, will carry true mobile broadband capability. Which, in theory, means you can get a USB connection card, or use a PDA to surf the net. The other interesting thing that’s about to change the entire playing field was the Friday closure of the Verizon Wireless / Alltel merger. All of the existing Alltel sites in Nelson will eventually become Verizon Wireless. Adding EVDO (high speed data) on those sites as well. I am not a fan of Verizon for the previously discussed reasons on this site, but do use them on the wireless side and find them to be reliable so far….we’ll see. Right now I am of the school “I’ll believe it when I see it” on any of these companies right now.

  5. Just took a call from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). The lady was responding to our filing of a complaint with the FCC that Verizon may be violating a portion of its agreement with the FCC to provide service to the public by obstructing and delaying the implementation of BPL in Nelson County. I was promised continued follow up from the FCC.

  6. Verizon never made any promises to me, or accepted money from me. I do not understand why they are to blame for the failure of IBEC to deliver a product when IBEC took my money and repeatedly failed to deliver a product. Verizon has their own interests and IBEC should have dealt with this before they made ‘their promises’ months ago. Sorry, but I feel that there is a community/publication bias against an entity/company that has never made a commitment or taken money from the community in regards to this effort, as far as I know. Please accept my apoligies if anyone has sent any money to Verizion for BPL.

  7. Excellent point Kevin. You are correct, and as we stated in this article a month ago :http://www.blueridgelife.com/2008/12/16/bpl-coal-in-your-stocking-ibec-no-joy-before-2009/ : these problems should have been hammered out at the conference table long before implementation began. We understand Verizon “may” have played some dirty pool here, but you are correct. IBEC, not Verizon made the promise to customers, and ultimately it’s IBEC’s problem to fix. It you are the general contractor on a home and the electrician screws up, you don’t tell the client, gee it’s the electrician.

    The bigger problem here was the slow release of information and candid discussion about what was taking place back in the summer. Rather than informing the customers quickly, everyone was left to guess what was happening. It was months before a weekly update finally started. IBEC is to be commended for that move and though the news hasn’t been very positive, customers do know what’s taking place.

    Our website has sometimes been criticized by some for being too harsh on IBEC or CVEC at times. So be it. It is not necessarily our job in this particular forum to be cozy all of the time.

    These companies have fantastic individuals working for them, many are our personal friends and the electric side of this cooperative is the best you will find anywhere in the nation. They have an excellent system here in Central Virginia. But…the execution of this particular project was poorly planned, and poorly delivered.

    And, since we are all backing the project through federal taxes as part of the loan process via USDA, any of us are entitled to question the process when taxpayer money subsidizes the build out.

  8. Once again we are being deprived of information because of this ugly, greedy, manipulative, special-interest political market, as is the case with our satellite DMA which forces Roanoke/Lynchburg “local” stations on us instead of allowing us to get Charlottesville stations.

    I filed a complaint online w/ the FCC too.

    Let them decide who is to blame but someone with some clout has to intervene here b/c this is ridiculous!

  9. I noticed some of you have made comments about Alltel/Verizon’s EVDO service. I have a blackberry through Alltel and i have full EV service here in Nelson. When its too cloudy out and I cannot use my wildblue service, i tether with my blackberry. I went to speedtest.com and here are my numbers:

    (1) Wildblue: ping time= 864ms (100mi); 526kbps download and 76kbps upload
    (2) Alltel: ping time=473ms (300mi); 330kbps download and 69kbps upload.

    With the exception of latency, I do not foresee IBEC doing much better in the speed category than wildblue or Alltel. They are advertising 256kbps to start. It is symmetrical…which will be helpful for those of us who actually upload files. I am hoping that the 1mbps will be offered soon after they get everything up and running, but for now, I don’t feel that I’m really missing out on anything other than almost half the cost per month.

  10. Janet just brought up an interesting thought–I can’t stand having our “local” channels being in Roanoke/Lynchburg–I sent a couple of request to Virgil Goode regarding this with no response–will we have any better luck with Tom, I wonder?

  11. The Millers. Unfortunately we don’t see much changing on this front. The National Association Of Broadcasters, FCC, and various others really don’t want to see this change for a multitude of reasons. I have yet to post about this, but will be in the coming days, we totally canceled satellite television here at our home &offices in Greenfield. After a year of mulling it over, we simply couldn’t justify the 50+ dollars a month to watch Roanoke stations that have no relevance to our area. Couple that with absolutely nothing worth watching on most other channels, it wasn’t a tough decision. That was on January 1, 2009. Haven’t missed it, or even thought about it since. Life has gone on and everything is fine. Actually it has become more productive since we cut out television altogether.

    When network executives understand they are putting nothing but mindless reality garbage on television now, and begin programming something people want to see, only then, will the trend of turning away from television as an entertainment medium change.

    And with internet, its now possible, albeit a little trouble in some areas, to download the programs you want to watch and skip all of the other nonsense.

    Television as we have known it is dead already, the networks just haven’t accepted that yet.


  12. Ditto that comment entirely. We’ve been tv free for 5 years for those exact reasons. It’s been great for us and even better for our now nine year old. Netflix has kept us with enough shows and movies and at just $18 a month. We now have more time to read, play and spend time together. Plus, our son doesn’t know every name brand to every toy and cereal being sold!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here