Mich. Agency Gives Lift to BPL Providers


A Michigan state agency has helped obtain funding for a private company aiming to deliver broadband service over local power lines to two small communities west of the state capital in Lansing.

The Michigan Broadband Development Authority, an agency of the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic growth, helped obtain a $520,000 loan for the Shpigler Group Inc., a New York firm that will do business as Lighthouse Broadband and will be Michigan’s first BPL provider, according to the MBDA.

Lighthouse will provide broadband service to business and residential customers in Grand Ledge and St. Johns. The infrastructure will be used to provide electric outage notification, automatic meter reading and to enhance electricity demand management.

The state agency helped the vendor with financing at a lower cost than was available in the traditional venture-capital markets. Lighthouse’s loan is for $520,000.

Comcast Corp. is among the area’s broadband incumbents.

This will be the fifth commercial BPL application in the nation, according to the MBDA. Several other states are considering forming similar broadband-funding agencies, according to the MBDA.