FCC Must Return to BPL Technical Issue

fgentges at mindspring.com fgentges at mindspring.com
Wed Apr 30 12:46:00 CDT 2008


Your use of the material is fine with us.

Nice story about Chris and the BPL battle.  Chris took a bunch of 
disparate bits and pieces of the BPL problem and crafted a set of 
arguments that would make sense and pass muster to the courts to 
convince them that the FCC decision was flawed.  It is rare the court 
will decide in favor of a plaintiff over a Federal "expert" agency on 
such issues and this speaks well of his work.

The FCC now faces some troubling decisions.  Either change their order 
and regulations or submit somehow to pressure from industry that has 
spent a lot of money installing BPL systems that may not comply with the 
changes, all in public view.

Frank K0BRA

Richard Rucker wrote:
> Frank,
> Thanks for that interesting bit of history!  I added part of what you  
> wrote to the story of Chris Imlay's talk given to QCWA Chapter 91 two  
> Saturdays ago. That story is found here:
> http://homepage.mac.com/rrucker/chapter91/recent_events/
> I trust that was OK with you.
> 73,
> Dick Rucker, KM4ML
> Ch91 web master
> On Apr 29, 2008, at 9:09 PM, Frank Gentges wrote:
>> Tacoistas,
>> The ARRL has posted information on the court review of the FCC and its
>> decision on BPL.  In particular the US Court of Appeals for the  
>> District
>> of Columbia Circuit today released its decision on the ARRL's Petition
>> for Review of the FCC's Orders adopting rules governing broadband over
>> power line (BPL) systems.
>> We gathered AMRAD members André Kesteloot, Bernie Keiser and myself
>> along with Paul Rinaldo and the ARRL counsel, Chris Imlay.  We met at
>> the ARRL office to help craft the ARRL submission to the FCC on BPL.
>> One of the issues we examined was how the signal strength should fall
>> off as function of distance from a radiating power line.  The AMRAD
>> group helped the ARRL develop an argument that it should fall off at a
>> rate of 20 dB per decade as that more closely represents how a line
>> source should act.  Key was a drawing showing the line radiating out  
>> as
>> a horizontal cylinder as opposed to the more familiar sphere.  The FCC
>> decided that it should fall off at a rate of 40 dB per decade which
>> represents a point source and sphere. After all, that is how
>> they have always done it.
>> Now, it looks like our argument of a cylinder as presented by ARRL
>> counsel convinced the court it should be reexamined by the FCC.  As  
>> the
>> ARRL writes:
>> Quote
>> With regard to the extrapolation factor, the Court ordered: "On  
>> remand,
>> the Commission shall either provide a reasoned justification for
>> retaining an extrapolation factor of 40 dB per decade for Access BPL
>> systems sufficient to indicate that it has grappled with the 2005
>> studies, or adopt another factor and provide a reasoned explanation  
>> for
>> it." The studies in question were conducted by the Office of
>> Communications, the FCC's counterpart in the United Kingdom, and were
>> submitted by the ARRL, along with the League's own analysis showing  
>> that
>> an extrapolation factor closer to 20 dB per decade was more  
>> appropriate,
>> as part of the record in its petition for reconsideration of the FCC's
>> BPL Order. The Court said that the FCC "summarily dismissed" this data
>> in a manner that "cannot substitute for a reasoned explanation." The
>> Court also noted that the record in the FCC proceeding included a  
>> study
>> by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration that
>> "itself casts doubt on the Commission's decision."
>> Unquote
>> We hope the FCC goes back to basics and considers the fundamental
>> physics involved here.  Using the FCC mandated number, calculations  
>> will
>> underestimate the field strength of the interference.
>> So much time has expired since our comments went to the FCC on  
>> this.  We
>> are given to wonder how much has been invested in systems based on a
>> flawed model.  This sunk investment will make it harder to decide on
>> changes at this late date.
>> This seems to vindicate the work done by the assembled AMRAD group.
>> AMRAD can make a difference.
>> Frank K0BRA
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