Virginia city launches city-wide BPL network
Communications Technologies (COMTek) announced that it has deployed a city-wide broadband-over-powerline network in Manassas, Va., a 37,000-person suburb outside Washington. The utility said about 12,500 households are within reach of the network–which also is capable of serving 2500 businesses throughout the city–and that it already has 700 subscribers, with an additional 500 requests for service.
COMTek CEO Joseph Fergus said in a statement that the utility is committed to expanding its BPL services. “[This] is something that we could be rolling out in a year or two from now in literally scores of communities across the U.S.,” Fergus said. “The Manassas experiment is a good thing for every American who lives in any city or town with little or no access to affordable broadband.”
The FCC approved rules for BPL technologies–which use the nation’s power grid to deliver broadband connectivity–in October of last year. The amateur radio community, led by ARRL-formerly known as the American Radio Relay League-has expressed concern that BPL interference could be harmful to ham operations. A House resolution introduced in June 2005 sponsored by Rep. Mike Ross (D, Ark.)-one of two amateur-radio operators in Congress-asked the FCC to “reconsider and review” its BPL interference policies.