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Broadband Fool's Gold
Editorial: 'Great broadband hope' it's not...
by Karl Bode 02:16PM Tuesday Mar 30 2004 Tipped by rf_engineer See Profile
Broadband over power-lines (BPL) has been hailed as the "great broadband hope" by FCC commissioner Powell, who believes it will usher in a new age of competition. Others lean on world-wide trial failures as evidence the technology is doomed-for-obsolescence; during its run bringing plenty of trouble (and interference) to areas contemplating the option.

BPL is a system that is being tested to provide broadband Internet service via powerlines to power outlets in homes and is a last mile technology. The system uses radio frequencies that will radiate into the air and cause interference to several licensed communications services including Amateur Radio. The frequencies BPL uses in general is 1 to 80 megahertz (MHz). Of particular interest is the band of frequencies known as HF, which is 1 to 30 MHz . This part of the radio spectrum has very special properties not found elsewhere. With this band, one can communicate around the world with very minute power levels. This is due to the fact that radio waves in this band can bounce off the ionosphere multiple times to get to a faraway destination. Other portions of the radio spectrum, like that used by 802.11 wireless LANs, are essentially line-of-sight. This means that the signals cannot bend or bounce off the ionosphere, but they can only propagate like light – in a straight line and shorter distances.

The medium of BPL, the powerline cable, unlike other broadband mediums such as copper twisted pair, fiber, and coaxial cable, is inherently unsuited for carrying the frequencies BPL uses. Power lines, twisted pair, and coaxial cable all act like natural low pass filters, meaning higher frequencies are attenuated more than lower frequencies when attempting to transmit them through the medium. The exact slope of the graph of attenuation depends on the specific construction of the material, but in general, twisted pair is suitable up to 100 MHz and coaxial cable can go up to about 3 GHz. Power lines are suitable for up to perhaps 350 kHz or so. The exact figure will vary and is unimportant for this discussion, but note that this is kilohertz, not megahertz or gigahertz. The medium of BPL is simply not suited for broadband data.

The other property of the medium chosen for BPL is its radiating capability. Unlike all other broadband mediums, power lines are excellent radiators of the frequencies BPL uses. Copper twisted pair, coaxial cable, and fiber are all inherently non-radiating self-shielded mediums. Powerlines act like a natural antenna and “lose” the BPL signal out into the air. The resulting interference can vary from a noticeable noise to a “deafening roar” on radio equipment which drowns out all communications.

BPL has been tested and deployed on a limited basis in other countries and was rejected in some places due to interference issues. BPL vendors may claim “new technology” and advances have now made it possible, but the fact is they can’t change the laws of physics. High speed data must occupy a certain amount of “bandwidth” and power lines which were designed to operate at 60 hertz will radiate radio frequency energy that is applied to them. Only changing power line construction (i.e. coaxial cable) would eliminate this radiation. BPL proponents reject this as being too costly, but that would be the cost to make this a real viable technology.

Users of the affected radio spectrum cannot be relocated, or at least not economically or in a timely manner. All of the services that use HF bands require the characteristics that only HF spectrum exhibits. There would also be huge international treaty implications with any relocation. Relocating government and military services alone would take years as the FCC would have to structure a migration plan. Chances are it would be ten years before this could be completed and it’s likely that power companies will have run fiber to the home or DSL and cable will finally be ubiquitous. Perhaps the largest issue to tackle though is where to move these services in what is an already overcrowded spectrum.

If it was determined that relocation was the way to go, this would be very irresponsible as HF radio bands are a unique natural resource. No other radio spectrum can provide worldwide communications without any supporting infrastructure. The military (and Amateurs for that matter) have had satellites at their disposal for years, but HF is still in use as it provides unique capabilities that satellites just can't. Internet technologies such as email, streaming media, and instant messaging, or cell phones simply cannot take the place of the wireless infrastructure-free communications capabilities that HF provides.

Destroying a large portion of wireless spectrum is not justifiable because it benefits more people. There are many examples of this in society where reallocation of a resource would benefit more people, but it would be detrimental long term to the people and the resource itself. Right now, Amateur frequency allocations belong to the people internationally and can be enjoyed in nearly every country by simply passing a test and getting licensed. Once they are given to a business interest, they cease to be the public's and can only be used as a customer of that business. BPL impacts other groups including government, military, shortwave, aviation, maritime communications, and CBers, so this would have national security and international implications as well. BPL has been linked in some rhetoric with increasing “homeland security”. BPL in fact takes spectrum away from government agencies directly tasked with protecting the country.

To deploy BPL an up front investment must be made in BPL headend / injection point equipment and repeaters -- it's not as simple as FCC Commissioner Powell makes it sound, as if all powerlines can immediately be easily lit up. There's going to be significant recurring costs in backhauling the IP traffic from the numerous BPL injection points serving an area. Neither DSL or Cable has this recurring cost or need for multiple network origination points. These costs unique to BPL make it even less attractive for deployment in rural areas that Cable or DSL as customer densities and revenue potential is lower.

The scalability of BPL is questionable. Chunks of HF spectrum must be reused between repeater/injection point segments. With customer bandwidth requirements going up, over subscription ratios going down, systems will need to be segmented in a cellular fashion. This exacerbates the interference issue as more frequency chunks are in use in a given area. More avoidance of frequencies will be needed, making less spectrum available for use by BPL. The frequency chunks in use will need to be smaller to enable tighter frequency reuse, and the available bandwidth per injection point will get to a point where it won't be sufficient.

BPL is also lacking on the regulatory front. It has no protection from interference from licensed wireless services. This means your BPL provider has no recourse if a licensed wireless station knocks out your BPL service regularly. If BPL interferes with a licensed wireless station, the BPL provider must cease to operate the system if the interference problem cannot be solved. While on the surface one would think that this would inherently protect wireless communications, it places a huge burden on such services to expend time and money identifying and seeking resolution to interference issues. With such a weak regulatory basis and a system that is immediately at odds with incumbent services, why would anyone want to depend on BPL to provide reliable broadband?

The FCC recently released Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) 04-29 which attempts to both encourage BPL deployment and address interference concerns. The NPRM basically proposes a national database of BPL systems and some interference mitigation techniques. Neither solve the interference problem. The database hopefully will aid in identifying BPL systems operating in a given area so that interference complaints can be filed more quickly with BPL carriers. While in general this is a good idea, it does little for mobile operations as it's impractical for such operators to research ahead of time before travelling into an area to determine if interference-free operation is possible. The interference mitigation techniques the FCC is proposing comes down to moving interference around in the HF spectrum until no one complains. The problem with this is that it's very difficult to find “open space” in this spectrum that won't affect anyone. The NTIA alone has over 18,000 frequencies in use. BPL carriers will receive an interference complaint, reconfigure their system to use other frequencies, only to interfere with another service. As BPL systems need more spectrum to feed a growing number of customers, more cells, and an increased demand for bandwidth, this interference avoidance juggling act will become impossible.

Radio Amateurs have been the most vocal in defending the radio spectrum, especially in Internet forums. Amateurs do not oppose broadband deployment, and in fact welcome it as most are born techies and use the Internet extensively. Some Amateur applications such as VHF repeater linking systems and position reporting systems actually use the Internet for connectivity and messaging. It is the ill effects of BPL on wireless spectrum which Amateurs vehemently oppose.

In summary, power companies should be building for broadband dominance in the coming decades with viable technology such as fiber, not for the next year or two with doomed-for-obsolescence technology. Wireless spectrum should be used for wireless applications, not to accommodate a wired network that pollutes the spectrum. The risk to critical licensed communications services is too great, the technological and regulatory foundation of BPL is too weak, and when compared head-to-head with other technologies, BPL loses on both the business model and technical capability sides. BPL appears glittery, but in reality it's Broadband Fool's Gold.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anthony Good (RF_Engineer) is Director of Systems Engineering at a regional ISP and CLEC and is experienced in RF Engineering in Wireless ISPs (ISM/UNII), Cellular, MMDS/ITFS, licensed point-to-point microwave, and LPTV. He is an Amateur Radio operator and holds an FCC General Radiotelephone Operator License.

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RayW
Premium
join:2001-09-01
Layton, UT
kudos:1

1 edit

Good idea but...

From an engineering standpoint, BPL is not a very good idea just for the reasons stated in the article. I know that many people here could care less about the airwaves, but many people depend on that same set of frequencies for either a living, safety, or just plain communications.

I know that some people think that everyone will be on the net and no one will need the radio, but there are just too many requirements that will not be met by the net. Maybe if they came up with a safe and world wide wireless system, then net-to-net communications will be viable.

edit: On the third read through, if the power companies did fiber along side the power lines then they may have a gold mine. After all, fiber is immune to any interference except possibly at any repeaters. Thus you could run fiber right next to a 100KV line or a 110 V with no issues. And since in most cases you already have right away to the house, you do not have to gig a new path.
--
I am not lost, I find myself every time.

wolfox
Gentle Wolfox

join:2002-11-27
Dunnellon, FL

Quite possibly...

The most well put opinion and statement of fact on the subject, to date. BPL needs to be reviewed and redesigned before it is considered to even be a remotely usable, viable alternative to broadband.
--
Nothwest Arkansas' ONLY all Techno Radio Webcast, powered by SBC DSL!

myhoes
Michael Extreme User
Premium
join:2003-10-05
Laval, QC

Re: Quite possibly...

thanks for posting what the text was about in essence it was too long so i didnt read it
--
And that my friends is what they say is..That!
devilmann30

join:2003-03-03
Wyckoff, NJ

Re: Quite possibly...

but can anybody post a summary of the summary for me

tenbase

join:2000-07-19
Alexandria, VA

Re: Quite possibly...

bpl BAAAAAD!
fiber GOOOOOD!

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO

1 edit

Great article!

Very well written, good job rf_engineer See Profile. I completely agree with you. BPL is just too slow to be a real competitor to cable or DSL. If Powell wants more competition, he should figure out how to encourage FTTH deployment. BPL is like forcing a square peg into a round hole. We just don't need to be pushing "broadband" data over a mediocre copper infrastructure that's even less suited for broadband than the existing "hacks" that we have now.
--
\\ROB - a part of the SCB local network

calvoiper

join:2003-03-31
Belvedere Tiburon, CA

What does Powell really want?

said by djrobx:
...
If Powell wants more competition, he should figure out how to encourage FTTH deployment.
...
That's a big "IF". If, on the other hand, Powell really wants to entrench existing monopolists, then advocating a technology sure to fail would accomplish that.

Calvoiper
--
VoIP--the death knell of remaining voice monopolies!
batmanst

join:2003-12-23
Beverly Hills, CA

it was a failure to begin with

power lines was never suited for broadband, the electrical current is too strong for anything else and the speed is only a little better then isdn. this technology sucks big time, two thumbs down! just as I thought even before it was introduced!

RayW
Premium
join:2001-09-01
Layton, UT
kudos:1

Re: it was a failure to begin with

said by batmanst:
power lines was never suited for broadband, the electrical current is too strong for anything else and the speed is only a little better then isdn. this technology sucks big time, two thumbs down! just as I thought even before it was introduced!

Actually the 60 Hz electrical current was never an issue. That was just a token engineering effort in isolation. The big issues are the EMI generated and the gross inefficiency of a power conductor at the frequencies required.
--
I am not lost, I find myself every time.

KillKoolaid

@mindspring.com
Well, you are just plain wrong. I have subscribed to a test roll-out of BPL from Progress Energy, Inc. in NC. I have reliable 1.5 MB up and 1.5 MB down. Many times it is 2.9MB down and 2.0 MB up (see dsl speed reports for mindspring or earthlink at zip 27526).

It may be true that it causes interference, well then argue that point. But don't argue that it is as slow as ISDN, because factually--at least in my case, it is not.

The wireless bridge that connects to the BPL network could not have been easier to setup and use.

I also have cable broadband. In contrast to my cable connection, I have not had any "Blinking" modem lights, failure to connect, or DNS/Router problems with BPL. Not to mention my upload speed is much higher. In short, my BPL bridge has not suffered any failure to connect (maybe 10 times on cable in the same time period). You sound like a mac kool-aid drinker--in fact all of these posters do.

I, for one, am in favor of anything that prevents monopoly. Where I live, dsl is not available, so the only provider is cable via TWC RR. I welcome broadband competition that will lead to better service from broadband service providers. If this is "fools gold", let me be a fool, 'cause it works and works as well (or better) than my cable broadband. In contrast to the opinions in this thread, I actually have facts to back up my opinions. Not kool-aid drinker hyperbole.

CheeseWare
Premium
join:2003-04-24
Burnaby, BC

4 edits

Probing the ISP service

1 - Could you tell us how is your LAN protected in the event of a lightening strike or grid brownout on the powerline?
2 - Have you very carefully read your subscriber agreement?
3 - Have you measured the availability of the service and maintaining these rates? Is it operating at same level of availability as your cable connection 7x24 5NINES along with Client Care? Are you confident that these rates will be maintained as new subs are added?
4 - Are you running a business on it? And would you?

I totally agree with challenging the telcos/cablecos duopoly but it is far from clear whether BPL is a credible challenger. Therefore we have to be very careful about the horse we gamble on.
N0JCG

join:2003-07-18
Minneapolis, MN

Re: it was a failure to begin with

How many other subscribers are on your leg of the system, or are you lucky enough to have it alone?

Want to borrow a shortwave receiver and see what it's doing to the spectrum?

gwion
wild colonial boy
Premium,ExMod 2001-08
join:2000-12-28
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1

1 edit

1 recommendation

Do I have to give my thoughts again? Or...

... has everyone already heard my position on this concept? These Tesla wannabes are misdirecting time and resources that should go to future-proof technologies and deployment strategies, not the idle geek musings of a half-century ago. I wish my car doubled as a helicopter... great for rush hour...

I wish I could just buy a washing machine and do my dishes in it and scrub the floors... maybe I could find one I can crawl inside of and get a quick shower, too? After all, it's already there, and it connects to the "water-network"? And I have a dryer, why do I need a "hair" dryer, too?

I wish I could drive on the subway tracks, maybe Detroit can come up with something? I wish my water and gas lines came in on the same pipe, it would save a lot of space, and they could just "de-mux" 'em, as they come in?

Apologies to "Jack's Mother" for stealing her line, but I wish the walls were full of gold... I wish a lot of things...

That my power lines carried my broadband is not one of them.

[PS- great article... Thanks.]

--
Semper Eadem

"The seas shall rise up in the twinkling of an eye, and the dust of the ancients shall be restored. The winds shall fight together with a dreadful blast, and their sound shall reach the stars."

amenite
The Soylent - It's People
Premium
join:2002-11-21
Ridgewood, NJ

1 edit

Re: Do I have to give my thoughts again? Or...

said by gwion:
...I wish my car doubled as a helicopter... great for rush hour...
...

It does sound wonderful, as long as you're the only one doing it. I can imagine hitting traffic, next thing you know there are 5000 heli-cars crashing into each other, raining debris and bodies on the expressway. Not so appealing in that scenario.
--
Time is an abstract concept invented by carbon based life forms to monitor their constant decay.
-Thunderclese

RayW
Premium
join:2001-09-01
Layton, UT
kudos:1

Re: Do I have to give my thoughts again? Or...

said by amenite:
said by gwion:
...I wish my car doubled as a helicopter... great for rush hour...
...

It does sound wonderful, as long as you're the only one doing it. I can imagine hitting traffic, next thing you know there are 5000 heli-cars crashing into each other, raining debris and bodies on the expressway. Not so appealing in that scenario.

I was reading an article on that a couple of weeks ago, and that was the reason stated for NOT having mass transit in the air. We do have the technology, just not the control.
--
I am not lost, I find myself every time.

calvoiper

join:2003-03-31
Belvedere Tiburon, CA

Re: Do I have to give my thoughts again? Or...

Excellent points, gwion!

(I wish my PDA were a cellphone and blackberry and FRS radio and VHF-marine radio and laptop and DJ mix console....)

When you think about it, there really is a LOGICAL REASON that UPS and Domino's drive different vehicles to your house--even if they both deliver things in cardboard boxes several times a week....

Calvoiper
--
VoIP--the death knell of remaining voice monopolies!
w2co

join:2003-07-16
Longmont, CO
"I wish I could just buy a washing machine and do my dishes in it and scrub the floors... maybe I could find one I can crawl inside of and get a quick shower, too? After all, it's already there, and it connects to the "water-network""
Yes and they could feed the clean water through the sewer pipes too, who cares if the sewer pipes were not designed to carry clean water, the average consumer won't know the difference anyway.

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY

1 edit

That nails it

This is among the best editorials I have yet read. It states the problems BPL has on many levels, good show RF':)
go to the site below for an excellent technical presentation on the subject. It is apparrent to people who take the time to do the research on BPL is that is nothing to invest in.
»intel.si.umich.edu/tprc/papers/2···-PLC.pdf
--
"Remember when hacking a loogy
it comes not so much from the lungs but from the soul."
Darkk

join:2003-10-03
USA

1 recommendation

Re: That nails it

I loved your well thought out and accurate post.

Nice Work!

One other aspect of BPL that I don't often hear mentioned is the effect it will have on the average radio *listener*.

These users cannot generate an on-air signal to cause any adaptive BPL technology to move off of a specific frequency. Just as a single couple talking in an empty restaurant causes little discernable noise, many people talking at once can raise that singularly weak noise level to a loud roar.

It is this cumulative effect as more and more BPL systems come online that should be of great concern. The overall noise floor will dramatically rise all across the country as these interfering signals propagate ionospherically. And the interference will be propagated world-wide.

I'd be willing to bet that the competing BPL systems might even begin to interfere with themselves.

Getting back to listeners...

Once the HF spectrum is polluted by BPL, private citizens will no longer have the ability to use inexpensive equipment to tune in to news and opinions from other countries around the globe via international shortwave broadcasts. The U.S. Government will have allowed an "Iron Curtain" to drop over the country, effectively cutting off individuals from the free and unencumbered infrastructure-free exchange of ideas and information.

Even the Soviet Union in the Cold War era was never able to implement a system which will be as effective at blocking the access to the HF spectrum as BPL will be.

Couple this with the disastrous changes the FCC is allowing in the AM band regarding IBOC transmissions (in-band on-channel digital, which is neither in-band, nor completely on-channel) and their wide bandwidth, interference-causing digital mode of operation, and you won't even be able to tune in a U.S. AM radio station from any appreciable distance.

The HF and radio spectrum is a priceless national treasure, one which should be guarded as vigorously as we protect clean air and water.

BPL simply can't work. It can't operate interference free. It may even begin to interfere with itself over time. And, it has no protection from licensed stations which have a legitimate need to operate in this spectrum for public safety. BPL won't affect just hams, it'll affect public safety, government and military, and private listeners too.

What we need are FCC appointees who actually have some engineering knowledge about the thing they are supposed to be implementing, regulating, and protecting.

The current state of affairs at the FCC and the ridiculous rulings coming out of the agency drive this point home far better than any words I might write.

Let's hope it isn't too late for common sense and good engineering to prevail.

spamd
Premium
join:2001-04-22
Cherry Valley, IL

1 recommendation

Say no to BPL


Look what I can do!
BPL is just as retarded as this.

tenbase

join:2000-07-19
Alexandria, VA

About time...

...this article got the attention it deserved! Well done, Goody.
--
I would kill everyone on this forum for a drop of sweet beer..

Radio Active
My pappy's a pistol
Premium
join:2003-01-31
Fullerton, CA

rf_engineer For FCC Chairman

Better hope them good ol' boys in Washngton, DC don't read your article; they may start fearing for their jobs!

Good work. As always, you have my thanks for articulating what I have not the writing skills to.
--
"Maybe" is twice as good as "No", but only half as good as "Yes"... »www.folsomtech.com
nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD

yes, but....

Michael Powell likes BPL, so it must be OK.

Surely, the FCC wouldn't do anything that hurts consumers;)

Radio Active
My pappy's a pistol
Premium
join:2003-01-31
Fullerton, CA

Re: yes, but....

said by nasadude:
Michael Powell likes BPL, so it must be OK.

Surely, the FCC wouldn't do anything that hurts consumers;)

Michael Powell can KI$$ MY A$$!!!

"Bought and paid for..."

Piece a' crap $ellout!!! (not nasadude)...

I wonder if BBR has any worthy contenders! (hint: rf_engineer)

I endorse the power companies that are playing along/working with, though...
--
"Maybe" is twice as good as "No", but only half as good as "Yes"... »www.folsomtech.com
N0JCG

join:2003-07-18
Minneapolis, MN

1 edit

Required Reading

This needs to be required reading for every utility CEO, not to mention all the FCC and media cheerleaders of this engineering mistake.

Great job, Goody!
w2co

join:2003-07-16
Longmont, CO

by far the best

Yes this is by far the best written post I have seen since this all started. It not only states truths about the technology, but also some of the myths. My hat is off to you rf_engineer. Lets hope someone who has power reads this and it finally sinks in. Only a matter of time before the general public finds out what a nightmare it is, only then it will be too late. Will they remember that we warned them??? NO
swarto112
Premium
join:2004-02-17
Brookfield, WI
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

BPL has rolled out....

Well, it has rolled out. Anybody on this forum know anybody using BPL in these areas?

»www.forcvec.com/bplcoop/ - charging $30/mo

»www.idacomm.com/bpl/ - in test phase
swarto112
Premium
join:2004-02-17
Brookfield, WI

FCC - here's a letter to the commision

»gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/retr···14184139

OldTom

@aol.com

Powell's Folly

rf-engineer is right on!

Michael Powell apparently wants to be a hero. Every time he talks about BPL he brings up the potential for service to rural areas.

Except no BPL proponent says that rural service is economical. In fact, UPLC wrote a paper saying that it's impractical except for distribution from a satellite downlink. Do the math.

Mr. Powell also says that BPL will bring broadband internet service to "underserved areas". I suppose this means places that don't have DSL or cable yet. Does anybody really think that the power companies can beat telcos and cablecos to the punch? The powercos tried a few years ago to dip into the REA (Rural Electrification Administration) pot to finance a fiber buildout. That didn't sell, so they're going another way (BPL).

When I write my comments to NPRM 04-37, I will talk about the following:
1. Every BPL installation must have an identifiable signal signature documented, publicly available, easily decoded. There is ample precedent for this in (for example) FCC station identification requirements on amateur, commercial, and public service licensed spectrum users.
2. Every BPL installation must include rapid automatic shutdown capability (that's already suggested in the NPRM).
3. A BPL operator must shut down its operation in any area where harmful interference is reported, and do so within 15 minutes (not weeks or months, as is the current practice with power company noise complaints, documented in FCC correspondence). Interference to public service or to amateur-in-public-service-mode is intolerable and must not be allowed to continue.
4. What we've seen so far in field tests is that (a) some BPL systems create lots of HF noise (Maryland and New York), (b) some BPL systems create little or no HF noise (Washington state). This suggests to me that (a) the current Part 15 limits are inadequate to protect HF, or (b) somebody who is field testing is falsely certifying Part 15 compliance, or (c) somebody is careless with the installation. I suspect that (a) is the closest to the truth.
5. The FCC states in the NPRM that it believes (incorrectly) that Part 15 is doing its job, because there are tons of Part 15 devices out there and there are very few complaints. But the FCC itself, in its literature and on its Web site, discourages complaints ("Take it to the manufacturer"). My microwave oven interferes (harmfully) with the AM radio that I listen to across the house. But do you think Panasonic (the oven maker) is interested? Nope. Maybe it's time to flood the FCC with complaints about Part 15 devices that interfere with licensed services (including AM broadcast).

One thing is certain. Comments to FCC 04-37 that say "I don't like it so don't do it" will be ignored. We need to argue with the NPR's points that are arguable, and do it with the clearest words (and cited references) possible.

Here we go!

furlonium
Shut up baby, I know it

join:2002-05-08
Allentown, PA

ooops!

damn, there goes my porn download

CheeseWare
Premium
join:2003-04-24
Burnaby, BC

A+ for this BPL news coverage

Thanks to BBR for publishing this editorial! And many thanks to rf_engineer for the ongoing effort.
jmaloy

join:2002-06-11
Willow Springs, MO

Re: A+ for this BPL news coverage

The other side of the coin...
I live 7 miles to the nearest "gas station" 18 mile to the nearest Broadband access. I WILL NOT see broadband where I live in my lifetime. Except for Satelite in which I use right now that costs me over $60 a month @ upto 2mbs D/L with a limit of 160 mb then I get bumped down to 56kbs "Dial up" speeds with MAYBE 50 kbs U/L speeds. From what I had read from the report with the link above, I want it RIGHT NOW...like yesterday. BPL is the ONLY option for people that live out in the rural areas.

CheeseWare
Premium
join:2003-04-24
Burnaby, BC

Re: A+ for this BPL news coverage

You need to research this a whole lot more. There is definitely no ROI where you are. Don't expect business aware people to drop BPL repeaters every half mile wire length minimum if there is no market there; they did not do it with DSL and certainly will not do it with something a whole lot more expensive to rollout. You are however wired with telephone copper and if the FCC was not ideologically blinded by this free market and deregulation crap, proper incentives and guards would have been given to your telco to deploy DSL in light of the upcoming VOIP freight-train. If your community can get organized around a community WISP, there are various wireless solutions available. WiMax will make that commodity priced (cheap) and will be definitely available far before BPL in your area. UHF channels unlicensed services are also being deallocated for broadband delivery.

BPL is not a solution, even if it did not interfere and could deploy according to various levels or regulatory bodies.

Spawn123

@63.164.x.x

screw the amateur radio people!

Look,

The future is the internet, and not the amateur radio crap. Please visit the following link at »www.forcvec.com/bplcoop/faqs/rad···htmlThis article talks about the interference issues that everyone Amateur Radio BUTTHEAD keeps talking about. BRING ON THE INTERNET GLOBAL, THEREFORE WE WON'T NEED AMATUER RADIO.

•••
damox
Premium
join:2002-01-07
Olympia, WA

Not a Viable Alternative

After reading this article, it sounds pretty clear that BPL is not a viable alternative to other forms of broadband . . . at least as the technology stands now! While offering little if anything that other forms of broadband already offer, and with all of the major obstacles to be overcome, I see little hope or need for this technology.
--
DAMOX Proud to be a member of Team Discovery
GunnerTHB

join:2004-07-13
Cape Girardeau, MO

Re: Not a Viable Alternative

I am not aginst or for BPL, for varied reasons. I don't believe in destroying HF Spectrum that is still used. My town has a BPL rollout that has been delayed because of HAM Radio complaints to the FCC. I'm 12 miles away from the CO, so no DSL. No Cable either. I game online so I cannot use Satellite. Wireless is not avalible in my town. If there was some way that I could get BPL, I would take it. This is a medium density area, Semi-Suburban, you could say. Hardly any emergencies happen out here, so it wouldn't be too bad I don't think.

(I live outside of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Site of the BPL test by Ameren and Big River Telephone)

n0xmz

@comcast.net

This one goes to my senator

Very well written, Anthony. So well in fact that I have forwarded your essay to my state senator in hope that he votes against (Texas Senate bill) SB-1794. ( see »www.n5gar.info/ ). BPL is a waste of time, money, and valuable RF spectrum. It's a pipe-dream. There are plenty of alternatives to cable Internet and DSL such as wi-fi, cellular, blackberry, fiber, etc. The world is going *wireless* folks. Besides the threat from BPL, we hams and other shortwave users have enough to worry about when it comes to frequency allocations.

James Johnson

@gdal1.hawkcommunicat

HF is from 3 MHz to 30 MHz

Mr. RF engineer made a minor slip... HF is not 1 to 30 MHz. Here are some of the bands:
LF: 30 to 300 KHz
MF: 300 to 3,000 KHz (3,000 KHz = 3 MHz)
HF: 3 to 30 MHz
VHF: 30 to 300 MHz
UHF: 300 to 3,000 MHz (3,000 MHz = 3 GHz)
SHF: 3 to 300 GHz
EHF: 300 to 3,000 GHZ (3,000 GHZ = 3 THz)

And now a quote from a little boy:

"screw the amateur radio people!

Look,

The future is the internet, and not the amateur radio crap. Please visit the following link at »www.forcvec.com/bplcoop/faqs/radio_int.. article talks about the interference issues that everyone Amateur Radio BUTTHEAD keeps talking about. BRING ON THE INTERNET GLOBAL, THEREFORE WE WON'T NEED AMATUER RADIO."

Spawn123 sounds like and uninformed person. I would not want to be as rude as that little boy seems to be. He seems to believe that if a corporation said it then it must be true. He does not realize that there will be lives lost because of interference during severe weater. He does not realize that fiber to the home is the best way to transmit Internet service. He seems to think that everyone will be happy to lose a free to use service (ARS, HF Broadcast and CB) in return for a pay through the nose service. He seems to think that his Internet signals will be secure on Broadband over PowerLine...Foolish little boy.

Radio Amatuers are so stupid

About the following:
I thought you just said the power was out, so how could BPL interfere with mickey mouse radio? You are so stupid!

HEY SPAWN! YOU SUCK DUDE! What happens when the power goes out?? Like a Tornado or Thunderstorm. Your without POWER, INTERNET, AND if you use VoIP, then your without phone or communication. Your Basically SCREWED.... Because the Tornado that just wiped your collective buttocks, has left you injured, trapped, and unable to call for help.
Now my Amateur Radio Self, who could provide communication to the Police, Red Cross, and EMA, can't reach them because of your BPL!

GrassleyThomas

@creighton.edu

Re: Radio Amatuers are so stupid

Actually.... wouldn't the interference be gone if the "power was out"?
And I assume with a tornado, a POTS line wouldn't help either. Though I do believe you are forgetting about cell phones, which is probably better than radio.