Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at verizon.net
Fri Feb 16 09:41:34 CST 2007

_*From the ARRL Bulletin*_


A bill in the US House of Representatives calling on the FCC to study the
interference potential of broadband over power line (BPL) technology and
report its findings back to Congress has gained two cosponsors, its sponsor,
US Rep Mike Ross, WD5DVR (D-AR), reports. They are US Rep Steve Israel
(D-NY) and US Rep Ron Paul (R-TX). One of two radio amateurs in the House,
Ross submitted the "Emergency Amateur Radio Interference Protection Act of
2007" (HR 462) <http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.462:> on
January 12. Last year, the US House passed a telecommunications bill, HR
5252, containing language that Ross proposed requiring the FCC to study the
interference potential of BPL systems. The legislation never made it out of
Congress, however. In a letter to his House colleagues inviting additional
cosponsors, Ross emphasized that his primary goal is to minimize BPL's
interference potential.

"In the 110th Congress, I have reintroduced this legislation and narrowed
the scope of the study significantly so as to not hinder any broadband
Internet deployment that does not cause proven interference," Ross wrote.
"The study called for by this bill will not slow, nor frustrate, the
deployment of competitive broadband delivery mechanisms. It will not inhibit
the deployment of Broadband over Power Line (BPL) systems anywhere in the
US. The purpose of the study is to ascertain what additional rules should be
adopted by the FCC governing BPL systems in order to reduce the interference
potential to a reasonably low level."

Ross said that as a radio amateur, he believes it's imperative that BPL's
interference potential be thoroughly examined and comprehensively evaluated.
"Power lines are not designed to prevent radiation of RF energy; therefore
BPL represents a significant potential interference source for all public
safety radio services using this frequency range, including Amateur Radio
operators," he told his colleagues.

HR 462 would require the Commission to address several technical facets,
including variations in BPL emission field strength with distance from power
lines and a technical justification for using a particular distance
extrapolation factor when making measurements.

The FCC also would have to investigate the degree of notching necessary "to
protect the reliability of mobile radio communications," and provide a
technical justification for permitted BPL radiated emission levels relative
to ambient noise levels. Finally, the study would have to outline options
for new or improved BPL rules aimed at preventing harmful interference to
public safety and other radio communication systems.

HR 462 has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. If
Ross's measure is adopted by both houses of Congress and signed by the
president, the FCC would have to undertake a study of BPL's interference
potential within 90 days of enactment and report to the House Committee on
Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and

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