[RFI] Gigibyte BPL?

Jimk8mr at aol.com Jimk8mr at aol.com
Tue Jan 11 12:07:05 EST 2005

And now comes this joker who proposes that by making power lines into  well 
matched antennas, they can send gigibytes down those wires in front of your  
Earth to WA3FET... can you walk down the hall and talk some sense into this  
guy, or if not maybe spill some super glue into his hard drives?   :>)  
Jim   K8MR 
January 5, 2005 
University Park, Pa. -- Penn State engineers have developed a new model for  
high-speed broadband transmissions over U.S. overhead electric power lines and 
 estimate that, at full data rate handling capacity, the lines can provide 
bit  rates that far exceed DSL or cable over similar spans.  
Dr. Mohsen Kavehrad, the W. L. Weiss professor of electrical engineering and  
director of the Center for Information and Communications Technology 
Research,  led the investigation. He says, "Although broadband power line (BPL) 
service  trials are now underway on a limited basis in some locations in the U.S., 
these  trials run at DSL- comparable rates of 2 or 3 megabits per second. 
"We've run a computer simulation with our new power line model and found  
that, under ideal conditions, the maximum achievable bit rate was close to a  
gigabit per second per kilometer on an overhead medium voltage unshielded U.S.  
electric power line that has been properly conditioned through impedance  
matching. The gigabit can be shared by a half dozen homes in a neighborhood to  
provide rates in the hundreds of megabits per second range, much higher than DSL  
and even cable." 
Kavehrad adds, "If you condition those power lines properly, they're an  
omni-present national treasure waiting to be tapped for broadband Internet  
service delivery, especially in rural areas where cable or DSL are  unavailable." 
The researchers say they are the first to evaluate data rate handling  
capacity for overhead medium voltage unshielded U. S. electric power lines and  will 
outline their findings at the IEEE Consumer Communications & Networking  
Conference in Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 5. Their paper is titled, "Transmission  
Channel Model and Capacity of Overhead Multi-conductor Medium-Voltage  Power-lines 
for Broadband Communications." The authors are Pouyan Amirshahi, a  doctoral 
candidate in electrical engineering, and Kavehrad. 
In their paper, the authors note that the junctions and branches in the U.S.  
overhead electrical grid cause broadband signals to reflect and produce  
multipath-like effects on these lines.This causes degradation in power-line  
broadband transmission performance and decreases transmission capacity.  
Kavehrad explains, "The signal can bounce back and forth in the lines if  
there is no proper impedance matching. The bouncing takes energy away from the  
signal and the loss is reflected in the ultimate capacity. 
"In service, performance will depend on how close the power company chooses  
to place the repeaters," he adds. 
The researchers are continuing their studies. Kavehrad predicts that the  
engineering issues to make BPL a technical alternative to DSL and cable will be  
solved. Whether it will be an economical alternative remains to be seen since  
there are interference issues that have to be overcome. 
The study was supported by a grant from AT&T Corporation. 
EDITORS: Dr. Kavehrad is at _kavehrad at engr.psu.edu_ 
(mailto:kavehrad at engr.psu.edu)  or (814)  865-7179.

Barbara Hale (814) 865-9481 _bah at psu.edu_ (mailto:bah at psu.edu)   
Vicki Fong (814) 865-9481 _vfong at psu.edu_ (mailto:vfong at psu.edu)   

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