Wednesday, November 23, 2011

FCC Affirms BPL Rules

The FCC has made minor tweaks in its 2004 rules for Broadband over Power Lines (BPL), but adopted neither the changes proposed by the ARRL nor its own original proposal. In a Second Report and Order on the issue, which followed a 2008 federal court ruling that it had made procedural errors in the original proceeding, the FCC changed from 20 dB to 25 dB the amount by which BPL providers need to be able to notch their signals in the event of interference complaints. But it did not go along with the ARRL's request for mandatory notching of ham bands.

BPL is a means of providing high-speed internet access to homes via power lines, using frequencies in the HF and low VHF portions of the spectrum. In test markets, certain types of BPL caused massive interference to close-in amateur stations. So far, the system has not proven to be economically feasible anywhere that it has been tried.