Thursday, January 22, 2009

Use of BPL Declines in US


According to the FCC figures, the category "Power Line and Other" dropped from 5420 lines in June 2007 to just 5274 six months later [out of 121.2 million Internet connections -Hugh]. It is not known how many of these are "Power Line" and how many are "Other."

"Despite the enormous and unwarranted hype given to BPL by the FCC under Chairmen Powell and Martin, the message from the marketplace is clear: BPL is going nowhere as a means of delivering broadband connectivity to consumers," observed ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "Still, the FCC has unfinished business with respect to BPL. It has been nine months since the federal Court of Appeals ordered the Commission to correct the errors it committed in adopting rules that inadequately protect licensed radio services from BPL interference, yet the FCC has made no effort to comply.

BPL (Broadband Over Power Lines) refers to the use of HF frequencies for broadband transmission of Internet packets over power company lines. The system has not been successful in the US market for a number of reasons, but the FCC for political reasons continues to push its use. IBM recently announced that it will work with power companies to implement BPL in rural areas beyond the reach of DSL and cable.

BPL is not the same as the home powerline networking system that is causing such a severe problem in Europe and South America. The use of these latter devices, more typically known as PLC (Power Line Communications) or PLT (Power Line Telecommunication), continues to increase rapidly.