[RFI] PLC Testing

Edward F. Douglass douglass at dcwis.com
Mon May 26 22:02:37 EDT 2003

I believe Mike Martin of RFI Services has placed the cart before the 
horse.  The testing of whether a PLC system will interfere with existing 
services in the MF and HF portions of the spectrum should be carried out 
BEFORE authorization is given by the FCC.  It sounds, though, as if the FCC 
will make its decision before RFI Services conducts its test and publishes 
the results.

The way the FCC is going about it, PLC likely will be authorized before it 
is proven that no interference will result.

Why do we tend to make public policy more on the basis of "economic might 
makes right" rather than on the basis of rational scientific studies?

It is going to be very difficult for the FCC to reverse itself and take 
away a PLC service after the powerline industry and the users of PLC have 
invested in their equipment and the businesses.  I am afraid that the only 
way the FCC would reverse its decision would be if those who are interfered 
with have more money to pay for lobbyists and more money to contribute to 
the political party that appoints the FCC commissioners than the proponents 
of PLC.

At this stage of the process, however, the amateur radio enthusiasts and 
others who use the MF and HF spectrum may be able to discourage the FCC 
from acting in favor of PLC if they can present evidence of the likelihood 
of serious interference and the bases upon which other countries decided 
not to allow PLC. (i.e., their evidence of destructive interference).

Ed Douglass, AA9OZ
(an amateur radio operator and DX chaser who looks for weak signals and is 
very concerned about what PLC will do to his enjoyment of the hobby)

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