House resolution seeks FCC reconsideration of BPL
ARRL, formerly known as the American Radio Relay League, this week expressed support for a proposed U.S. House of Representatives resolution that asks the FCC to “reconsider and review” its interference policies as they relate to broadband-over-powerline (BPL) deployments.
An association that represents U.S. amateur-radio operators, ARRL has been critical of the FCC’s BPL order issued in October 2004, with ARRL spokesman Allen Pitts calling it a “rush to judgment.” Amateur-radio operators, or hams, have expressed concern that the order fails to safeguard their communications from harmful interference emitted by most BPL technologies that radiate energy from medium-voltage wires.
“What this basically asks the FCC to do is to take another look at their methodology and how they arrived at the conclusions they did,” ARRL President Jim Haynie said in a prepared statement. “I think that’s a fair request and something that we should do as amateurs to make sure this is done right and not with a lot of haste.”
The House resolution, HRes 230, is sponsored by Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), who is one of two licensed amateur-radio operators in Congress, according to ARRL. Ross reportedly has expressed concern that BPL interference not only will harm ham-radio communications, it also could negatively impact public-safety communications—specifically, low-VHF-band communications and the federal interagency emergency SHARES (SHAred RESources) network.
Haynie said Motorola’s recently announced Powerline LV system—a BPL solution that uses a wireless broadband link to bypass the medium-voltage lines—is an indication that BPL can be deployed in a manner that will not cause harmful interference to other communications. Pitts said ARRL is not yet ready to endorse the Motorola BPL system but initial tests are “looking good.”