[RFI] alternative to PLC

Michael Tope W4EF at dellroy.com
Wed Jun 11 16:27:04 EDT 2003

Ooops, I am forgetting how to do math. With 40 mile coverage
radius and a 20K sub breakeven point, an MMDS based high-
speed internet system would be viable with a subscriber density
of around 4 subs/sq mile, not 40. My apologies.

Mike, W4EF...........

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Tope" <W4EF at dellroy.com>
To: "Hare,Ed, W1RFI" <w1rfi at arrl.org>; "George K. Watson"
<watson at sierracmp.com>; <RFI at contesting.com>
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 3:10 PM
Subject: Re: [RFI] alternative to PLC

> > Yeah, but infrastructure is still required.  In some cases, the power
> company has to run fiber to the neighborhood. In others, they use the MV
> lines, but have to put digital repeaters about every 2000 feet on the
> In others, they use 802.11 to get to the house.
> >
> > The premise that the infrastructure already exists is flawed.
> That's why I was suggesting that MMDS technology
>  would be a better alternative for rural areas. With MMDS,
> all you need is the headend (typically about $1M) and
> a $100 to $150 worth of  CPE (customer premises
> equipment) for each subscriber. Nothing is needed in
> between the headend and the sub except air, so as long
> as you keep the headend up, you will have good system
> reliability with the occasional truck roll for single customer
> outages.  A 500' tower will provide a coverage circle of
> about 40 miles in radius. I think the break even point for
> these types of systes (at least when they are used to
> delivery CATV type pay TV service) is at about 10 to
> 20K subs, so you can probably make a go of it with an
> average suscriber density of 30 to 40 households/sq mile.
> Below that subscriber density, it may not make economic
> sense. Of course BPL, may not make sense either at
> that level given that a non-zero amount of pole equipment
> will be required (repeaters, couplers, etc). If repeaters
> are needed every 2000', then it starts to look like a cable
> TV system in terms of maintenance costs and reliability
> I wonder if industry has any real viable business plans
> for rural areas, or if they are just throwing hot air around to
> sell the commissioners?
> Another question about BPL technology. The articles I
> read in the IEEE communications magazine suggest that
> it is designed to be immune to "impulse noise", but they
> don't really say whether or not this applies only to isolated
> impulses (like the kind you get from contact closures) or
> continous impulse noise like you get from leaky pole insulators.
> If the modulation/coding  scheme they are using doesn't handle
> the latter very well, then I think they are in for a system
> maintenance nightmare if they start using MV lines
> extensively. Anyone know about this?
> 73 de Mike, W4EF........................................
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Hare,Ed, W1RFI" <w1rfi at arrl.org>
> To: "Michael Tope" <W4EF at dellroy.com>; "George K. Watson"
> <watson at sierracmp.com>; <RFI at contesting.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 2:21 PM
> Subject: RE: [RFI] alternative to PLC

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