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Re: [RFI] BPL news today's WSJ

To: "EDWARDS, EDDIE J" <eedwards@oppd.com>
Subject: Re: [RFI] BPL news today's WSJ
From: Eric Rosenberg <wd3q@starpower.net>
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 21:32:04 -0500
List-post: <mailto:rfi@contesting.com>

I didn't ask the question. I was satisfied that they had done a lot of work with the amateur community. The pilot seems to be based in a relatively low income community, so I doubt any hams were impacted.

My very clear impression is that JEA values and wants to maintain their relationships with the amateur and public safety communities.

Eric W3DQ

At 10:10 AM 12/21/2005 -0600, EDWARDS, EDDIE J wrote:

Just curious.
Did the pilot project do any testing with hams?  Did they test near a
home station?

Many BPL pilot projects have involved hams at the start only to ignore
their results later when it didn't come out so good.  That's why I'm
curious about the testing performed.

I have heard that Current is one of the better ones, but not totally

73, de ed -K0iL

-----Original Message----- From: Eric Rosenberg

Two weeks ago, the Nemours Hospital ("the Mayo Clinic for Pediatrics")

and JEA (formerly the Jacksonville Electric Authority, now including
the water utility in addition to being the electricity provider) made a
presentation of their BPL implementation at NTIA here in Washington,
DC. NTIA funded this small pilot project, which uses BPL as the
communications technology for the Nemours staff to monitor pediatric
asthma patients in their home.

The program itself is quite impressive in its scope, simplicity and
success.  The hospital is to be commended for the work they are
doing.  See

Also to be commended is the JEA, who took the right approach in their
BPL implementation. The JEA has an extensive and very robust fiber
network that ties their substations together. The BPL system uses BPL

as the home-to-substation link, after which it ties into the fiber
network for distribution to the hospital.

During the Q&A I asked the JEA program manager a couple of questions:
how extensively had they researched the BPL vendors; what criteria did

they used to award the contract; and how they saw saw BPL in the market

The answers were quite good. JEA looked long and hard at all the BPL
vendors and chose Current (the same as those who are going into
Dallas). Their basic criteria was to identify a BPL provider who had a
solid financial standing, a product that worked and worked well, and a

strong customer support mechanism. Understanding that the JEA program

manager is not in the marketing department, the comments on why the JEA
opted for BPL had a different slant. The potential revenues for JEA
from a commercial BPL service are relatively small, considering the
cheap competition. JEA is interested in BPL for their own system
management purposes, and found that it is significantly less expensive

to implement and operate than their present wireless system, which, if

I remember correctly, is a combination of CDPD and other LMR/Cellular
systems.  With BPL, they can read meters and manage their systems far
more easily and efficiently.

What was most impressive is that before they began to look at vendors,

they went to the amateur radio and public safety community to
understand the issues of those communities and integrate their issues
into their criteria for awarding the equipment and system
contract.  They impressed me as a being a smart business that did not
like surprises!

What was most interesting to me is that is that the comments regarding

their outreach were made as part of the presentation, and not as a
result of questions (there are only three other hams at NTIA, one of
whom was at this briefing).

In the end, I was impressed. As I've said, both sides of the project

are commendable -- medical and technical. It proved to me that if the
system operator is responsible and designs their system properly, and
holds the vendor to a high standard, BPL and amateur radio can

Eric W3DQ
Washington, DC

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