Friday, July 11, 2008

Latest UK PLC News

The situation is evolving fast with regard to home Ethernet power line adapters which create massive interference to HF in the UK.

"Mike in West Sussex" has finally made a connection with a real live human being someplace other than the Asian call center who works for BT and knows something:

Just had a phone call from one Julie O Sullivan who may be the BT Chairman's PA. She was calling in regard to the letter I sent him just yesterday!

Stated, very unusual never heard of this before, I am going to make some enquiries within BT.

I said that she may like to Google the problem in which case it would become apparent how wide spread it was.

She was insistent that I took her name and number down!

So finally I got a shot into the BT heart.

I'll keep you posted on any more developments.

Meantime, if anyone else here is suffering this QRM please report it today to Ofcom and write a letter to the BT Chairman about it. Do it today so that we all ride the storm its clearly stirring up!

BT is, of course, the big British telecom provider, following privatisation of what used to (I believe) be a government telcom company. Now, it's a huge communication conglomerate with a global reach, like any other big company. Those who deal with them report that it has essentially replaced a government bureaucracy with a corporate bureaucracy.

Ofcom is the British FCC, created when the regulation of telecom was removed from the old department within the Post Office. As with our FCC, its mandate seems to be evolving away from preventing harmful interference to licensed radio services, and towards doing whatever maximizes free competition in the marketplace.

By way of background, the BT Home Hub is the home router/modem for their high speed Internet connection service. The trouble is caused by the wall wart adapters that are sold with BT's video service, which sends on-demand video from the Home Hub to TVs elsewhere in the home. Some of these use the DS2 chipset, which can be notched to exclude ham bands, but is otherwise the most efficient HF jammer ever invented. It is completely out of compliance with European EMC regulations, and it has caused problems throughout the UK.

Apparently, BT will replace these, but the customer has to ask. Then the older ones show up on eBay, since at 99 British pounds a pair when new, they're not exactly throwaways.

It is becoming evident that the problem is caused by short wave listeners who do not want to become involved. The BPL/PLC "industry" is able to argue that its equipment is clean because "nobody complains." Obviously, people with problems have not made them known to the FCC and the companies behind this badly designed and misbegotten technology. I realize that HF utility listeners in particular tend to be very low-profile, given the various secrecy of communications laws. However, the stakes here involve the survival of the entire pastime. It's best to fight now, before it's all over.