BPL:  Broadband over Power Line


More BPL Info:

> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
In the event you ever want to quote Mr. Adams admitting that BPL does
indeed interfere with ham radio, here is the article (link available from
the ARRl web's BPL "News and Updates" as well).


and to refresh all of us, here is Walt's most excellent admission:

"It's not a question of whether BPL interferes with ham radios. It does,"

Walt Adams, Vice President of New Technology, COMTek

4/15/2005 Note from W1CRO:>Hello All:
>As I prepared to present the marinated chicken to the Canova Ranch fire
>gods, I happened to find this month's IEEE Communications Magazine.  What
>luck!  Almost an hour to read (with occasional spurts to the grille to
>keep the flame from eradicating supper).
>The April 2005 issue (Volume 43 No. 4) is not on the web yet - and you'd
>need to be a member to get at it, I think.  So here's an abstract of a
>submission to "Topics in Emerging Technologies"
>"Interference Characteristics of Broadband Power Line Communication
>Systems Using Aerial Medium Voltage Wires" by Paul S. Henry, AT&T Labs-
>         -  "The promise of broadband power line (BPL) communications -
> broadband access to virtually every home in the United States - will
> remain unfulfilled if the radio emissions from these systems cause
> significant harmful interference to other users of the wireless
> spectrum.  This article presents an elementary analysis of the physical
> mechanisms underlying these emissions, from which the interference
> characteristics of BPL can be derived ..."
>The paper is presented as an elementary analysis focused on a single BPL
>transmitter.  The "going-in premise" is that issues of compatibility with
>other users of the radio spectrum need to be resolved before widespread
>BPL access can become a reality.   It describes the baseline system model
>used, along with a description of the electromagnetic fields.  Giving some
>fundamental ideas about how BPL RF signals propagate, it acknowledges that
>far field effects can be significant ("Although the most intense
>interference from a BPL system is confined to the immediate vicinity of
>the MV wire, serious long-range effects can also occur."); and mentions
>the "small but non-negligible, off-axis radiation, a problem made worse by
>inevitable discontinuities in MV wires" in regard to the interference
>potential to aircraft flying over a BPL network (where the aircraft can be
>simultaneously exposed to radiation from hundreds of  transmitters).
>The author describes measurements of a BPL system (not named) made by an
>AT&T Labs team in February 2004 that led to their conclusion that
>collected data suggested operation within, but very close to, the limits
>set by rules recently adopted by the FCC.
>The paper also addresses the BPL susceptibility to incoming
>interference.  The example given was a 1 kW transmitter at a range of 1 km
>delivers approximately 5 dBm to the BPL system.  <My add> - cut that to
>100 watts and it is 10 dB less (-5 dBm).  Drop it another 10 dB to 10
>watts and it's still enough for my IC-703 to rain on their parade,
>especially if it happens to be connected to my Yagi.  the author notes
>that "At shorter distances, the received power level will show
>approximately an inverse square increase."  <interject> Boy those old guys
>(Maxwell, et al) were really sharp weren't they!?
>Several references were made to a Phase II NTIA study.  I need to go find
>out about that.
>Just some tidbits to tickle your fancy.  Perhaps the magazine is available
>here at the Prince William County library system.  But don't look for it
>in Manassas City unless you know the secret handshake<grin>.

Hot Links:

ARRL - "BPL is seriously degraded by nearby radio transmitters"

GoBPL - "A site to educate everyone on all aspects of BPL"


CED - "Another article with little technical input.  It's all about marketeering and money."



BPL Funnies:

Email your favorite one liners to kc0osg, and I'll Post em'

Waterboy BPL:  Ben Franklin didn't create BPL!  I did!  Ben Franklin is the devil!

Star Wars BPL:  Luke turn to the BPL side and together we will rule the FCC Galaxy!

Star Trek BPL:  Damn it Jim!  I'm a doctor, not a BPL engineer!

Milk BPL:  Got Interference?

GEICO BPL:  Good news I just a a great rate on my BPL!

Forrest Gump BPL:  Run BPL Run!



BPL Emails:

4/9/05  This one is from W1CRO in Manassas, Virginia:

>----- Original Message ----- From: "A. R. Whittum"
>To: <w1cro>
>Cc: <kc0osg>
>Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2005 8:25 PM
>Subject: Fwd: CED Article: Powerful stuff? Despite obstacles, BPL hopes to
>produce electrifying results
>>the below email in response to this article:
>>------- Forwarded message -------
>>From: "A. R. Whittum"
>>Subject: CED Article:  Powerful stuff?  Despite obstacles, BPL hopes to
>>produce electrifying results
>>Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 21:22:37 -0500
>>Hello Mr. Kuhl -
>>I read your article about Broadband over PowerLine technology and noted
>>(again) the positive, almost-glowing comments made by people within the
>>BPL community - most of whom seem to overlook the obvious in their attempt
>>to make BPL sound like some worth investment dollars.  BPL is
>>technologically flawed.  The original concept has been around for many
>>years and operated at low data rates on in the medium frequency band
>>(RF).  Interference was not noticeable.  The current (no pun intended)
>>thrust is to use high frequencies (HF).  And that's their Achilles' Heel.
>>Not only are they HF radio spectrum polluters, they are subject to
>>interruption caused by the transmissions of licensed users and operators
>>in that same radio spectrum.  They are not "sharing spectrum" they are
>>polluting it.
>>It happens that a multitude of licensed users ranging from government,
>>military, land mobile and air carriers, along with amateur radio
>>operators; and, other users including shortwave broadcast listeners and
>>organizations using time and frequency transmissions from the NIST
>>operated WWV transmitters; are now being exposed to the possibility of
>>disruptive interference generated by the unlicensed ("Part 15") units used
>>by BPL operators.  I say "being exposed" - in the FCC rule-making, BPL
>>operators were specifically directed to not use certain frequency bands
>>currently used by some of the above government/military organizations.  In
>>addition, the FCC rulemaking directed that BPL operators were to address,
>>mitigate and shut down if necessary to resolve interference complaints.
>>that aspect is meeting with mixed reviews in my view.  In some cases BPL
>>"Pilot" tests have been shut down because of complaints of interference.
>>Most recently a test area in Texas.  In others, a number of complaints
>>have seemed to disappear into a black hole in Washington, DC.
>>Notwithstanding current Administration "support for BPL" - and I consider
>>that misguided by lobby dollars and power-point charts - I believe the
>>support was intended to push broadband access throughout the US in a
>>viable infrastructure.  BPL is not a viable platform for that
>>infrastructure.  If the originators had opted for use of SHF (super high
>>frequency) bands - such as in the 5-6 GigaHertz range, they might have had
>>a more fruitful experience.  But attempting to place their unlicensed Part
>>15 transmitters (OK, modems) in the HF spectrum was a disaster waiting to
>>But should I misspeak, let me point you to the
www.arrl.org website to get
>>more information from the other side of the spectrum.  A spectrum, I would
>>add, that is unique in its capability to support world-wide communication
>>with minimal infrastructure. And one that is attended and protected to by
>>International agreements.
>>Obviously I have a viewpoint - I am a licensed amateur radio operator and
>>have been for almost 50 years.  As a Coast Guard electronics engineer many
>>years ago, I worked on and designed some of the Coast Guard communications
>>sites that BPL must not interfere with.  And I just find it appalling that
>>so many articles written about BPL seem to get much of their information
>>  from press releases, or so it seems.  Maybe it's just an echo.  But please
>>take a look at the ARRL's web site.  There are people there (at ARRL),
>>also, that are much more articulate than I am and considerably sharper and
>>up-to-date on the potential for disaster that hides in the covers of those
>>BPL modems and repeaters.
>>Arthur Whittum
>>Manassas, Virginia


>>Extract from: http://www.gobpl.com/sharkbites.html
>>Broadband Nirvana!
>>"I want consumers to have a choice of multiple, facilities-based
>>providers, including not only cable and DSL, but also powerline,
>>wireless, and satellite services. Such a robustly competitive and
>>diversified marketplace is something I would call broadband Nirvana." FCC
>>Commissioner Abernathy
>>(According to our dictionary, Nirvana is a state of unreality which
>>accompanies a profound absence of desire.)
>>Actually, my Funk & Wagnells Standard College Dictionary (1973) defines
>>nirvana: (1) In Buddhism, the state of absolute felicity, characterized
>>by freedom from passion, desire, suffering, etc., and attained through
>>the annihilation of the self or through the liberation of the individual
>>from all passions and desires. (2) Loosely, a similar state in Hinduism,
>>achieved through the merging of the self into Brahma. (3) Freedom from
>>care and pain; bliss.
>>So if Ms. Abernathy is willing to go the last mile and attend to
>>definition (1), I'll send some flowers to the funeral home. If she opts
>>for definition (2), I'll send her a free link to the Bombay call-center
>>BPL Help Desk;  and for definition (3) an all-expense-paid trip to the
>>nearest lobotomy factory - or perhaps to the closest cannabis distillery.
>>But she's in for a shock if she thinks she'll attain nirvana by adding
>>BPL to the marketplace.
>>73 all es CUL


This page was last updated: 01/18/2006 04:30:43 PM -0700