[RFI] Broadband over Power Line (BPL) radio interference

Hare,Ed, W1RFI w1rfi at arrl.org
Mon Jul 19 10:04:49 EDT 2004

> I strongly agree with this. The issue is a there must be a  disproof of their concept. If 
> BPL is implemented, there WILL be BPL users next door to hams  The sooner the 
> incompatibility of this adjacency is clearly proven the better. The failure to do this in any 
> reasonable way is, IMO, a major shortcoming of ARRL strategy. 
> I'm sorry as hell that Ed got bad press from a reporter who drove around and watched 
> him work (or listen to) CW. But for the League to take a milquetoast position in 
> response to that is a complete mistake, and plays into the hands of the BPL folks. 

When word got out that FCC Chairman Powell was goign to attend a BPL demo near Raleigh, the discussion on some lists literally was to have hams go there and disprupt that demo with 500-watt mobile stations. Thank goodness that didn't happen. I can hardly imagine anything that would have made a worse impression on the FCC than that, and it would have truly made amateur radio look bad, and not worthy of protection. Fortunately, that was more talk than action, and the local Raleigh hams -- the ones that need to be in control of that local situation -- got invited to the demo and were able to at least get in a word edgewise.  That was not as productive as anyone would have liked, but had that handful shown up and put their plan into action, the result would have been a disaster.

>From a regulatory point of view, the FCC does not care about interference to BPL. The point has been made that 5-watt stations, never mind 500-watt stations, will cause interference.  A number of utilities and BPL manufacturers have indicated that they want to work with the local amateur community on the ingress problem, and under those circumstances, those 100- or 500-watt mobile stations are part of the solution.

But again, all of this must be coordinated through the local hams working directly with their utilities.  This week, I am contininuing with my plan to set up an email reflector that has the leadership from each of these local teams on it. That will allow them to better communicate with each other. I will ask them if they are willing to have their names and email addresses made public so those across the country that want to talk to them about their experiences can do so. Some will say yes, and others will say no, and I will respect that decision.

I don't see a "milqetoast" postion from ARRL. Its response has been designed as best it can to not shut the door on cooperation where possible, yet rock firm on the fact that if BPL systems cause harmful interference, it must be corrected. The result is that I am still able to continue my dialogue with BPL manufacturers and utilities and other utilities such as the ones Rochester, NY Cedar Rapips and Potomac are backing away from interference issues. But not to consider just how reporters and the industry would spin up a "non-milquetoast" position would be counterproductive. That WOULD play right into the hands of the BPL folks.  And I am sure that few of those that read ARRL's filed reply comments in the NPRM would consider its position to be "milquetoast."  To the contrary, some have criticized the League for being too forceful with the FCC, expending political capital.

Ed Hare, W1RFI
ARRL Laboratory Manager
225 Main St
Newington, CT 06013
Tel: 860-594-0318
Internet: W1RFI at arrl.org
Web: http://www.arrl.org/tis
Member: ASC C63 EMC Committee
   Chairman: Subcommittee 5, Immunity
   Chairman: Ad hoc BPL Working Group
Member: IEEE SCC-28 RF Safety
Member: Society of Automotive Engineers EMC/EMR Committee
Member: IEEE 

More information about the RFI mailing list