DirecTV has always been at a slight disadvantage when it comes to offering bundled services. While companies like Time Warner and Verizon are easily able to offer voice/tv/data plans, DirecTV relies on partnerships in order to compete. DirecTV currently partners with Qwest and AT&T in order to offer voice and data plans to consumers, but the company is exploring other avenues for bundles. Current Group and DirecTV announced that they are partnering to offer consumers broadband over power line (BPL) Internet, as well as VoIP services in the near future.

At the moment BPL is merely a fly on the wall of Internet service. The technology is not nearly as widespread as DSL or cable broadband service. In fact, Current Communications is the largest provider at the moment and they offer service in Cincinnati, with a Dallas-Fort Worth plan to go into effect soon. So this deal will not put DirecTV’s bundled services in many homes, but as BPL expands it places the company in a prime position.

Current Communications offers its BPL service starting at $19.95 for a max speed of 512Kbps, which is as swift as Uncle Frank watching the game after a ginormous Thanksgiving dinner. Current does offer a $49.95 package that gives users a static IP and 3Mbps of speed, as well as a $39.95 package without the static IP.

Both DirecTV and Current Communications will keep on eye on the BPL market as it rolls out, including what the competition is doing. In 2006 the FCC classified the technology as an information service, which FCC Commissioner Kevin Martin hopes will bolster expansion of the technology.

DirecTV and the Current Group said they plan to roll out the new service to consumers at the end of 2007 or in early 2008.

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