The Federal Communications Commission today proposed changes to its technical rules governing broadband-over-power line services that it said would foster deployment of such services while creating safeguards that would protect existing services from harmful interference.

Specifically, the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking calls for the creation of procedures to measure the radio-frequency energy emitted by BPL equipment and the establishment of “mitigation techniques” that would be used to prevent interference that could negatively affect public-safety and amateur radio communications. These techniques would enable BPL devices to shut down, dramatically reduce transmit power or avoid specific frequencies as needed to avoid interference.

Opponents of the nascent technology fear that widespread BPL deployments will result in “radiation leakage” that will wreak havoc on public-safety and amateur radio transmissions. However, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein said in a statement issued with the commission’s NPRM that while the FCC must be “mindful of harmful interference,” the commission cannot “let unsupported claims stand in the way of such an innovation as BPL systems.”