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Thread: Broadband Power Lines (BPL)

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    SG MVP Lefty's Avatar
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    Broadband Power Lines (BPL)

    An interesting take on a new technology. Since I am on my way to become a ham, I hold interest in both. Discuss.

    DirecTV Announces Plan to Provide Service via BPL

    According to the August 15 edition of The Wall Street Journal, "Satellite-television provider DirecTV announced a wholesale agreement today with Current Group to provide high-speed Internet service over electric-power lines," otherwise known as broadband over powerlines (BPL). "Broadband over power line is a new technology that allows customers to plug a modem device the size of a cell phone into an electric outlet and connect a cable from their computer for Internet access that is capable of speeds that are faster than some popular Internet plans from cable and phone companies. Current is building out broadband networks in Cincinnati and Dallas-Fort Worth and is in talks with a number of utilities around the world about a commercial rollout," the Journal said.

    ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, said "There is no reason to panic [over this decision]. ARRL's only concern about BPL is the interference potential. In that regard, the approach that Current has taken to date -- limiting its use of the medium-voltage lines to 30-50 MHz and using the HomePlug standard to avoid the HF ham bands on the low-voltage drop -- has been satisfactory. If the FCC mandated what Current has been doing, we would be quite happy."

    Sumner continued: "We can be glad that DirecTV chose to align itself with a BPL company that has taken the interference problem seriously and has a good track record of avoiding interference in the amateur bands."

    ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, commented, "ARRL and Current have communicated regularly over the past few years. Current has been an early leader in carefully choosing its design to avoid interference to Amateur Radio. They don't operate below 30 MHz on overhead lines at all, and use HomePlug technology, which doesn't use the ham bands, in customers' premises. To date, ARRL has no Amateur Radio interference reports involving Current or HomePlug equipment."

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Blisster's Avatar
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    been reading about BPL for years now.


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    ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ downhill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blisster View Post
    been reading about BPL for years now.
    Yep. I've all but figured that it must not be very feasible, given the potential for it.

    If they can figure out how to limit interference, then they do face less resistance in areas for testing.

    Again, the potential is staggering.

  5. #5
    SG MVP Lefty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by downhill View Post
    Again, the potential is staggering.
    Especially like remote states like Maine where they don't have cable companies or a phone co., nearby. I have folks 5 miles away in the dark ages.

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    A+, S+, M+, C+, CySA+ Shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty View Post
    Especially like remote states like Maine where they don't have cable companies or a phone co., nearby. I have folks 5 miles away in the dark ages.
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  7. #7
    Ohh Hell yeah.. Sava700's Avatar
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    its available in my area now has been for years....works great and I've not seen much problem with HAM radio operations.

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