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Posted: 08-12-2005 06:55 AM
by Fred_Vobbe

The BPL battle continues orldwide. To the north, telecommunication regulator Industry Canada has opened the public commentary period aimed at setting rules to introduce powerline inrternet access in that nation. Called a public consultation in Canada, the procedure will guide the development of a new certification standard for medium voltage powerline carrier systems.

On the ham radio side, Radio Amateurs of Canada says that it will reply to this consultation paper both through the Radio Advisory Board of Canada of which it is a member, and directly to Industry Canada.

Radio Amateurs of Canada Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Jim Dean, VE3IQ, is a member of the Radio Advisory Board Executive. He has been named chairman of the Working Group formed under the Electromagnetic Committee to prepare the industry's response. Joe Parkinson, VE3JG, will represent Radio Amateurs of Canada on the Working Group. (RAC)

Posted: 08-29-2005 06:22 AM
by Fred_Vobbe
Via "CGC Communicator", an engineering newsletter from a well known engineering company. See if the red flags come up for you.


Questions remain about the imminent BPL trial at San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) involving Ambient Corp. BPL equipment. With so little predicted use of the system (involving only about 10 SDG&E employees per SignOnSanDiego), will parts of the system simply "squelch off" for lack of data flow? If so, the test will not be meaningful from an RFI standpoint.

To answer this and other questions, CGC called Ambient Corporation and asked to talk to a systems engineer. No such contact would be allowed, Ambient said, unless CGC first signed a non-disclosure agreement, which we refused to do. As a consolation, however, Ambient invited us to send a letter with our questions, which we did. They answered as follows:

"Thank you for your inquiry regarding the upcoming SDG&E BPL trial. All public information regarding the BPL trials in San Diego can be found on SDG&E's website (<>.
I invite you to continue to check their site for updated information." As of this writing, nothing new has been posted, and we would be very surprised if anything new is posted.


According to a recent communication from SDG&E, "Ambient is the first of several vendors from who we plan to purchase equipment and training to trial as part of our BPL pilot project.
The contract with Ambient was a result of a competitive bid to all manufacturers of BPL product. We intend to bid for the next trial by the end of this quarter...."

Posted: 09-24-2005 11:23 AM
by Boomer Geezer
palosheights wrote: i heard on wbbm radio in chicago a news story about how bpl is now up and running somewhere in illinois, didnt catch exactly where, and the power company president saying all the problems have been worked out and its working great.


Yeah, I think that was Princeton:

"Jason Bird, Village of Princeton. Princeton&#146;s Successful Implementation of BPL. Mr. Bird is the Superintendent of Electric & Telecommunications in the municipally owned electric and telecom system in Princeton. Princeton is located in western Illinois off of Interstate 80. When faced with the potential loss of one of its largest employers because of the lack of adequate broadband service, Princeton decided it was time to take matters into their own hands. As a result, they have successfully implemented a BPL system, have maintained their largest employer, and received an economic development grant from the Federal government to develop a technology park."


Yup, it's a PDF file but it's only 2 pages long and should load quickly even for dialups ... the above quote is from the bottom of the first page and top of 2nd.

Posted: 09-24-2005 11:25 AM
by Boomer Geezer
Mosby's Raiders wrote: hello everybody , first let me introduce myself, my call is k4wtw . i hope bpl does not try to come into my area . from all the articles i have read , audio i have heard and from art bells show , it should never have been approved in the first place.

Well it's kind of late, but nobody every said I was rapid with this bad back! LOL

Echoing Linnea's welcome to you. Hope to see more of you.


Posted: 10-07-2005 07:05 AM
by Fred_Vobbe

An electric utility in eastern Pennsylvania says that it will end its 2 year long B-P-L trial and is abandoning the project. Amateur Radio Newsline&#146;s Josh Abramovich, KB3GWY, is in Philadelphia with the details:


PPL Corporation says it will pull the plug on its Broadband over Powerline Internet access trial for residential customers in suburban Allentown, Pennsylvania on October 31st.

The surprise announcement came October 3rd.

PPL had about 300 customers signed up for its BPL trial.

Eric Olena, ARRL Eastern Pennsylvania Section Manager, has had members of his section staff and other hams in the region closely monitoring PPL's market trial. He says the announcement was good news.

"We're very excited about it and very happy that it has come to that point," Olena says. "Although we were of fairly sound mind that that was going to come about.

"The decisions behind the idea to promote it seemed rather flawed at least from our way of thinking and we thought it would just be a matter of time, we were hoping it would be a lot less time, that it would come to light that this was not a technology that would work properly."

Olena says ARRL's top technical representative on BPL, Ed Hare, W1RFI, took the early field measurements of the BPL interference in Emmaus, Pennsylvania - just outside of Allentown - where PPL launched its trial. At that time, PPL dismissed the interference concerns raised by Hare and hams in the region.

Olena says information that got back to his staff shows PPL - at least internally - recognized those concerns were legitimate.

"We had heard indirectly and we can't really attribute it to a particular source or how reliable it is that they were having some serious interference problems even with their own equipment with this type of technology running," Olena says.

A PPL official quoted in news stories about the company's decision to discontinue BPL service cited two reasons for abandoning the system. Neither one mentioned interference.

The official blamed competition from the cable and telephone companies for blocking the company from charging the rates it needed for the service to be profitable.

Customers were paying about $40 a month for PPL's service. Phone and cable companies in the region began running fiber-optic cables into PPL's BPL area and offering Internet access for about half of what PPL was charging.

Secondly, the official claimed that the pool of potential customers was just too small - he said, quoting here: "The economies of scale wouldn't work."

Olena says that's quite an admission because PPL is a big company with more than a million customers in eastern Pennsylvania. He says PPL's decision to pull out is significant and could send shockwaves across the electric-utility industry and affect those testing BPL or thinking about getting into the game.

"I can't help but think that once a company of the reputation of PPL makes a decision like that that others can't at least stop and think before they leap ahead and take that into serious consideration," Olena says.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Josh Abramowicz, KB3GWY, in Philadelphia.


Other power companies have not yet come to the same conclusion as PPL. At airtime more than a dozen electric utilities nationwide are experimenting with BPL technology.

(Amateur Radio Newsline)

Posted: 10-07-2005 09:52 AM
by Linnea
Great news, Fred. There is hope. Guess many cities are going to wi-fi. Need to work on getting out to the rural areas. As technology improves, there should be a way.

Posted: 10-07-2005 02:17 PM
by Fred_Vobbe
Linnea wrote: Great news, Fred. There is hope. Guess many cities are going to wi-fi. Need to work on getting out to the rural areas. As technology improves, there should be a way.

If government does not gobble up all the TV channels to auction, there is some thought to using channels in the 50-59 range for Internet systems. If you take a 6 mHz TV channel and break it into data pipes for rural area, you can cover a lot of ground.

I think we will start seeing some tests soon. The last comment I saw on one of the engineering pages was that (1) TV station operating in data only, would be equal to an OC3 for a share of users. In the rural perspective, that would be pretty good. I wish I had something like that here!

Posted: 11-18-2005 08:25 AM
by Fred_Vobbe

The stakes have been raised a bit in the Broadband Over Powerline battle down-under. This, as Australia's electronics magazine Silicon Chip describes B-P-L as a flawed technology flying in the face of that nations Electromagnetic Compatibility regulations. With more on this latest development in the B-P-L war, here's Jim Linton VK3PC:


The cover story "BPL is coming here ." by staff technical writer, Ross Tester said BPL has been a pipe-dream for years. However, the wires to carry the broadband signals are stretched in the air and make "magnificent antennas radiating interference" right across the spectrum.

The article said, "Whether by fiendishly clever design or simply dumb good luck (we'll leave you to make up your mind which) BPL has avoided heavy-use areas of the spectrum where there could be huge public outcry."

Silicon Chip's Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Leo Simpson in an editorial said, "Just imagine every street in every major city and town in Australia blanketed with BPL signals ranging from just above the AM broadcast band to just below the FM band.

"This will play merry hell with all radio (and TV) services in that range. In fact, it would mean the end of any useful radio services in that range."

It is incredible that the trials have even started. It makes a huge mockery of all of the EMC compliance regulations that all electronic equipment must now meet.

Why have EMC compliance when the power authorities will be able to blast interference out to everyone. It just beggars the imagination.

The Editor-in-Chief concluded: "BPL in its present form is a very bad idea. It might at first appeal to the non-technical populace but when the true ramifications take hold, there will be hell to pay."

I'm Jim Linton VK3PC, reporting for the Amateur Radio Newsline..


It will be some time until the results of the Australian B-P-L testing is known. (VK3PC, WIA News)



Still on the Broadband Over Powerline front, the San Diego Gas and Electric Company has been conducting tests of a BPL equipment vendor's system in an industrial area of that California city. These are real world tests that involved the actual purchase of hardware from the vendor, and subsequent operation by the power utility.

According to the Southwestern Division ARRL Newsletter, San Diego Gas and Electric has worked with the League in these tests. The locations, exact frequencies used, and signal levels are not being released at this time but technical details of any potential interference from Amateur Radio's perspective has been communicated to the power company.

The tests are the first of trials of several different vendor's BPL systems. The ARRL team says that so far it has found the radiated energy to be comparable to that experienced from other systems using the same or similar technology that presently exist in other parts of the country.

It should be emphasized that San Diego Gas and Electric has not selected this particular system for deployment and will be testing several others. The newsletter says that San Diego Gas and Electric appears to have a desire to have a system that performs robustly, is not vulnerable to interference from licensed users of the radio spectrum, and does not cause harmful interference to those spectrum users.

(SW Division Communicator)