My understanding is there are two different electrical systems in the
> world, the 220v version the rest of the world uses, and the 110v the
> US uses. In the rest of the world, a fairly large number of residences
> are run off a single transformer, where in the USofA, a much smaller > number are run.
Pretty much true. I don't know whether it's the voltage or the way neighborhoods are laid out, but Europe puts a lot more people on a transformer than we do.
Multiply by millions and millions of these things all over the place,
> and it is easy to see why, even though it is being reported in the US
> media, the actual action is taking place in a foreign county, in the
> article, it was Japan.
Oops, Japan isn't 220v or even 110v. It's 100v. But the neighborhoods are extremely dense. I'm kind of surprised that Japan has any BPL at all since you can get 10mb fiber connections cheaper than you can get DSL here.