Maryland utility ends limited BPL pilot

Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at
Fri Mar 24 22:59:51 CST 2006

* Maryland utility ends limited BPL pilot: The Southern Maryland Electric
Cooperative (SMECO) has ended a limited broadband over power line (BPL)
pilot project, concluding that the technology is not yet ready for prime
time in its service area. "At this time, SMECO believes that BPL technology
needs to advance further before it can meet the needs of our customers," the
utility said in its March customer newsletter, Cooperative Review
<>. "BPL signal speeds
and bandwidth are not competitive with other technologies currently
available." The ARRL is unaware of any radio frequency interference
complaints related to the SMECO BPL test, which ran from April through
December 2005 and used Current Technologies equipment, which has shown to
have comparatively less potential to interfere with Amateur Radio. The
utility also cited safety concerns, the impact of BPL on the co-op's current
construction practices and "the lack of a proven method for delivering BPL
signals via underground power lines," which make up 60 percent of SMECO's
power grid. The utility further noted that currently available BPL hardware
is not remotely programmable, something it would need to offer such services
as pay-per-view programming, and that should the power grid get knocked out,
BPL service would go down with it. A member-owned electric co-op, SMECO
serves more than 130,000 customers in four Southern Maryland counties.

(From The ARRL Newsletter).

André N4ICK

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