Topband: The Quest to save AM radio

Ken Claerbout k4zw at
Wed Sep 11 20:29:00 EDT 2013

"Exactly right. Isn't small government wonderful?" That's really not the problem. Many federal agencies, including the one I work at, have plenty of money and personnel. It's more a function of priorities and who sets them.

Years ago when I was in a Master's program, one of the courses I took was Telecommunications Law taught at the George Mason University School of Law. It was taught by an adjunct professor who was an attorney at the FCC. I was the only engineer in the class. It was a fantastic class, the best one of the program! One of the things we looked at was expanding broadband access in the US. BPL was prominent at the time. I remember trying to make the case about its interference potential to existing services and I was basically told I hear you, your right, but you are barking up the wrong tree. It was clear many of the decisions were being made by policy types and not by people that understood its implications, especially the technical part. If BPL was going to be defeated, it would happen because it wasn't financially viable, not on technical merits, because it harmed existing services. Who could be against greater broadband access for the public? Are other services like guys with their ham radios and AM broadcast stations (who listens to AM) going to trump that objective?

I'm more dubious about greater enforcement than some it appears. It's an uphill battle on many fronts. Aren't there powerline RFI cases that have gone unresolved for years because the FCC won't step in or won't enforce their own standards? Besides, how long have guys like K1MAN and KZ8O been on double secret probation, and nothing can be done about them? 

Ken K4ZW

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