This originally started out as a search to answer the common question
"Where are they?"
I don't know. Sometimes a press release will brag of a test (such as the
one in McCully, Hawaii -- Honolulu). But other times, even Google can't
So I went to the FCC. Experimental licenses do not appear on the ULS. You
have to go to the Experimental Licensing System page at
Even though it has an easy-to-use search engine, BPL grantees don't say
much. Because of confidentiality it is difficult to tell where, when and
what they are testing. Reading the documents included with experimental
license one gets only an idea what is going on.
For example, take Ambient Corporation. In late June, having spoken to the
OET by telephone on the 23rd, Ambient requested a delay in filing its
6-month progress report until 8 July 2003.
I did not see that progress report on the site with Ambient's documents.
What I did see was titled
"NARRATIVE STATEMENT OF AMBIENT CORPORATION IN SUPPORT OF APPLICATION FOR
MODIFICATION TO EXPERIMENTAL LICENSE WD2XEQ."
Ambient is requesting permission to go nationwide (though not to increase
the number of units it fields).
Similarly, Southern Telecom has requested permission to expand its test
area as well. Ambient is one of Southern Telecom's vendors, so more units
will appear than Ambient's own license authorizes, and probably in
In trying to track down new deployments, we may have to change our
strategy. Our organized HF nets, especially mobile ones, may be the best
scouts we have. BPL folks are stealthy -- who knows, maybe they avoid towns
with beams. But SOMEONE will notice sudden increases in interference while
handing out counties or checking into the Noontime Net. When we know where
the BPL trials are going on, we can then quickly send more mobiles, and
alert stations in the area to collect information -- and file complaints,
if warranted -- of system interference.