BPL : More Possible Progress Seen At Martins Store Via Verizon

©2009 NCL Magazine : Verizon crews working at the Martins Store Substation last week.
©2009 NCL Magazine : Verizon crews working at the Martins Store Substation last week.

Nelson County, Virginia

As we most recently told you here, Verizon crews have been seen lately working at the Martins Store Substation at the intersection of Route 151 and 6 East. On Tuesday of this week another crew was working there and appeared to be linking together the new pedestals installed last week, which is what the crew in the shot above was doing. We are speculating here since Verizon refuses to answer any requests for information at the PR level. We last had correspondence with them on October 23, 2008.

We also spoke to an IBEC customer last night who said they spoke to IBEC yesterday and were told they would have BPL service by late January or early February. They were located just off of 151 north of the Ashley’s Market area.

We’ll keep you posted, and keep your e-mails and updated information coming our way as well. We appreciate it!

The entire history of BPL here in Nelson out of Martins Store by clicking here.


  1. While there are a multitude of reasons for the delay of the BPL application in Nellysford, this issue cannot be disputed: IBEC did not approach Verizon and discuss their equipment before announcing the availability of their product to their customers.

    Adding telephony equipment (a phone set or computer modem of your choice) at the customer end of the incumbent telephone company’s network has been decided long ago; this is permitted specifically by law and practice. Adding telephony equipment that has DIRECT contact with the 19,000 kilovolt AC distribution power lines has never been established or approved in Verizon until recently.

    Putting the cart before the horse is always a bad practice in any business; IBEC’s failure was in assuming that what happened with a phone company in Alabama would apply to all phone companies in all states. This proved not to be the case.

    While I commend Nellysford in being proactive in their quest for broadband penetration (it’s well known that Verizon has been less than diligent in establishing universal broadband in light of their focus on FiOS fiber-to-the-home network service), IBEC customers must accept that serious safety issues were raised by Verizon employees. Namely, would YOU feel comfortable in working on a telephone network which has DIRECT contact with 19,000 kilovolts of AC power? What if IBEC said, “It’s OK, we’ve done it in other places and it appears to be safe.”?

    The nature of the existing copper telephone network is designed to efficiently conduct electricity (this is what powers the analog signals that deliver voice service to your home on a land line), there is no protection equipment or apparatus devices in place that is designed to shut down the ENTIRE telephone network in the event of AC power contact. Instead, devices are installed at main telephone offices and at ALL customer locations that will protect these locations until the problem can be repaired. Until that time, when there is AC contact to the telephone network it becomes energized with deadly efficiency. A telephone employee working several miles down the road can become electrocuted if AC contact occurs elsewhere. In fact, all telephone repair technicians carry devices which alert them to the presence of AC power contact in the network before they touch it. These devices have saved the lives of many employees.

    It is hardly surprising that Verizon expressed reservations concerning offering a connection point to IBEC’s equipment which has a direct connection to the AC power network. It has nothing to do with stonewalling the endeavor since Verizon is not competing with IBEC in the BPL targeted areas, anyway. It also has nothing to do with finances since Verizon (and IBEC) will profit from the sell of T-1 circuits that transport the IBEC broadband signals. Deployment of BPL will benefit both Verizon and IBEC, neither company has a interest in turning away these profits.

    The delays with the BPL deployment stemmed directly as a result of IBEC’s presumption that Verizon would blindly believe and trust that this particular equipment would be safe to their employees and safe for their telephone network without proper testing and documentation. That IBEC proceeded with accepting BPL deposits before solving all of the necessary telephone regulatory requirements and specific Verizon requirements was a poor judgment call on their part and should not be construed as a fault of Verizon.

    On a side note, the new Ntelos cell tower being installed near the Martin’s Store substation will offer speeds over 1mb per second with latencies of around 50 milliseconds. In addition, the Ntelos wireless broadband (and presuming the eventual Verizon Wireless broadband service from this location) will offer the possibility of portability with a USB EVDO antenna or a PC EVDO card. For users located further from away from this tower, there are EVDO antenna boosters which will make fringe locations actually viable for wireless broadband. (Search the internet for EVDO antenna boosters.) Ntelos is currently offering their wireless broadband service for 40 dollars a month for unlimited service which is a better deal than both IBEC’s BPL and Verizon Wireless’ broadband (which has a bandwidth cap of 5Gb per month.) In addition, once the Martin’s Store cell site is up and running, Ntelos will allow you to try out their wireless broadband for 30 days and cancel your subscription without penalty if it does not work when you get home and try it out.

    Tonto E., a third party observer.

  2. Tonto,
    I’m not a techie. How close would you have to be to the Ntelos Tower to be able to get internet access.

  3. Hi C.R.,

    Tontoe E. seems to know much more about this than we do, but you would be able to use the Ntelos service several miles out from the tower, maybe more depending on your line of site and what type of antenna you use. The new technology and new equipment allows much greater distances than in the past.

  4. Tonto do well defending Kemo Sabe Verizon; do as told.
    However, there is no defending the fact that Verizon had the choice in this situation to be a hero or a villain. They have been the king-maker, or road block, which ever they chose. In the local Greenwood “456-..” telephone exchange, customers have been fighting Verizon for years to get DSL service. Everything is there, ready to power up the system, but Verizon does not think there are enough customers to make enough profit. At the same time, though, Verizon is brash enough to go to the same customers and request that land be given to erect another cell tower. That takes a lot of nerve, the kind with which corporate giants are gifted. There’s no defending Verizon….without a very vivid imagination.

  5. Sent ‘the thing’ back almost two weeks ago. Haven’t heard anything yet about the $100. The dial-up mail is still working even though IBEC was notified by phone, email and note enclosed with the modem that it should be discontinued. Hope it all works out well for those with more patience than I ended up having.

  6. On the plus side, I’m getting free (save for the $100 modem) dial up until they get the BPL working.

    February huh? I’ll believe it when I see it.


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