FCC Approves BPL Deployment

It sounds like a great idea in theory: turn the electrical grid into a network for broadband data delivery. No new wires to run or jacks to install; the power plug becomes your express-ramp to the InfoMation SupaHiway.

There’s just one problem: because most of the power grid doesn’t use insulated wires, the data sent through Broadband over Power Line (BPL) systems (as an RF signal that rides the wire) radiates into the surroundings – to the detriment of any user of HF radio frequencies within a half-mile to a mile of the power line cum data pipe. Read More

Comment Deadline Nears in Broadband over Powerline (BPL) Rulemaking

The FCC’s ongoing project to approve the use of powerlines as data infrastructure grinds on, and the initial public comment period on this rulemaking ends next Tuesday. It would’ve closed months ago if not for a short extension of time (granted at the request of the Amherst Alliance and National Antenna Consortium) to digest the latest technical studies on the plan, released just three weeks ago.

BPL technology sounds wonderful but is a massive interference generator, literally wiping out several amateur and shortwave frequency-swaths. Yet the FCC seems relatively determined to bring it on regardless. Read More

Regulatory Tidbits of Note

A long-delayed bookmarks-cleaning brought my attention to these interesting bits of (relatively) recent note:

1) A joint task force of the FCC and National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) devoted to “spectrum reform” will close its public comment period March 18 on a somewhat nebulous charge to:

(a) foster economic growth;
(b) ensure our national and homeland security;
(c) maintain U.S. global leadership in communications technology development and services; and
(d) satisfy other vital U.S. needs in areas such as public safety, scientific research, Federal transportation infrastructure, and law enforcement.
Read More