Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at
Sat Feb 4 07:48:44 CST 2006


ARRL Directors Frank Fallon, N2FF, of the Hudson Division and Bill Edgar,
N3LLR, of the Atlantic Division have called on the League's New York
membership to protest a state grant to help fund a problematic BPL pilot
project. ARRL learned this week that the New York State Energy Research and
Development Authority (NYSERDA) has contracted with electric utility
Consolidated Edison (ConEd) and BPL manufacturer Ambient to provide up to
$200,000 in funding for a BPL pilot in the Westchester County community of
Briarcliff Manor.

"If you share our dismay that NYSERDA's funds are being used to support a
known source of radio spectrum pollution, write to Gov Pataki and NYSERDA
President Peter Smith to demand that the State of New York use its influence
to ensure that the Briarcliff Manor BPL project is either brought into
compliance with the FCC rules immediately or shut down," Fallon and Edgar
said in a joint statement to New York ARRL members.

The Briarcliff Manor project has been the subject of a string of complaints
to the FCC, including several requests from the ARRL--the last filed just
last month--to shut down the project until it complies with FCC rules.

Fallon and Edgar called on ARRL members in the Empire State to write Gov
George E. Pataki, State Capitol, Albany, NY 12224 and Peter R. Smith,
President, NYSERDA, 17 Columbia Circle, Albany, NY 12203-6399. Pataki is a
former Amateur Radio licensee, K2ZCZ (since reissued).

ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, points out that the League's concerns regarding
the public grant have been on record with NYSERDA since June 2004, when
Ambient prematurely announced a funding grant. Sumner said John Love, the
NYSERDA project manager for the BPL grant, this week confirmed that a
contract had been signed.

"I shared with him our disappointment at Ambient's involvement, given their
miserable track record in Briarcliff Manor," Sumner said. In his
conversation with Love, Sumner said he explained that Ambient was violating
FCC rules in Briarcliff Manor by exceeding Part 15 emission limits, causing
harmful interference in the amateur bands and failing to post required
information in the public BPL system database.

Love "clearly didn't know much about the interference issue," Sumner said,
adding that the official indicated NYSERDA's interest in BPL was as a means
to improve the quality of electric power delivery. "However, he said the
contract requires the parties to monitor and report on interference and its
mitigation," Sumner noted. "I offered ARRL's technical resources to educate

On January 5, citing FCC inaction in response to previous complaints, the
ARRL renewed its complaint to the Commission about the Ambient Corporation
BPL project in Briarcliff Manor. The BPL system uses power lines owned and
operated by ConEd under a Part 5 Experimental FCC authorization. The League
requested that the FCC instruct the BPL facility's operators to shut it down
immediately and not resume operation until it can demonstrate full
compliance with all applicable FCC rules.

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