*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 26, No. 05 February 2, 2007 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +League faults FCC chair on BPL comments * +"Ham Radio . . . Getting the message through is new PR campaign theme * +Ham-astronaut visits Florida school for ISS contact * +Leonard, Knight award winners announced * +FCC gives lapsed licensee 60 days to renew * +Telephone outage prompts ARES activation * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration ULS announces February 3 maintenance outage +New ARRL department gets official name +FCC issues "show cause" order to Washington licensee ISS crew members swear in US Navy re-enlistees ARRL Foundation Board of Directors meets DXCC Desk approves operation for DXCC credit Amateur Radio volunteers needed for Boston Marathon Portugal now BPL-free, radio amateur reports +Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> =========================================================== ==>Delivery problems: First see FAQ <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/faq.html#nodelivery>, then e-mail <email@example.com> ==>Editorial questions or comments only: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, <firstname.lastname@example.org> =========================================================== ==>LEAGUE CRITICIZES FCC CHAIRMAN FOR PERPETUATING BPL RURAL SERVICE MYTH The ARRL this week took FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin to task for telling the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation that broadband over power line (BPL) technology is the answer to broadband deployment in rural areas. Martin and the other four FCC commissioners testified February 1 during a committee hearing, "Assessing the Communications Marketplace: A View from the FCC." In his prepared remarks, the chairman described BPL as a "potentially significant player due to power lines' ubiquitous reach, allowing it to more easily provide broadband to rural areas." ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, criticized Martin for repeating "specious BPL industry claims" that suggest BPL has anything to offer rural dwellers. "The assertion that BPL can 'more easily provide broadband to rural areas' is one of the big lies about BPL," Sumner said. "It has been debunked time and time again, and it is beyond comprehension to hear it parroted by the federal government's senior telecommunications regulator at this late date." Martin's remarks, Sumner added, "should demonstrate to the committee why legislation is needed to force the FCC to use technical studies, rather than outdated industry propaganda and wishful thinking, as the basis for making BPL-related decisions." Martin cited United Power Line Council (UPLC) "reports" that there are now at least 38 trial BPL deployments plus 7 commercial trials, apparently deriving his figures by counting the dots on a UPLC map, since updated. The most recent edition, dated January 19, appears to indicate just 25 BPL trials, but that list includes some systems that do not appear in the BPL industry database. The map also shows 9 commercial deployments, including one in Pennsylvania believed to have been shut down. The FCC's "High-Speed Services for Internet Access: Status as of June 30, 2006" report -- the most recent available -- shows that the number of high-speed "lines" grew by nearly 13.5 million in the first six months of last year. Of that number, nearly 640 were listed as "power line and other," an increase of some 14 percent in that category but about half the overall growth in high-speed services. "These latest FCC figures underscore just how far out of touch the Commission itself is with marketplace reality," Sumner remarked. "How much longer will the Commission continue to tout BPL as a viable consumer broadband option in the face of its own contrary data?" In joint comments to the FCC in 2003 on the then-pending BPL rule making proceeding, the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) cited studies indicating BPL would "not be a viable solution for most Americans in truly rural areas any time soon." "To date, no BPL system has been demonstrated to work, much less been commercially deployed, on a long, sparsely populated rural electric power line," the NRTC/NRECA comments said. "Even if BPL technology proves to be reliable and does not cause unacceptable radio frequency interference in rural deployment, the economics will likely be prohibitive for some time to come. This is because signal repeaters or regenerators will be required at intervals as small as one-fourth to three-fourths of a mile along lengthy rural power lines" in addition to the numerous and necessary network access points and backhaul lines. More recently, the NRTC last fall cited studies by Chartwell Inc, a research company specializing in electric power topics, that found only 5 percent of utilities were moving ahead with BPL projects while 13 percent were planning or "considering" them. On the other hand, two utilities with more than a million customers between them reported discontinued existing BPL programs, according to a Chartwell member newsletter. The League has suggested that potential investors in rural broadband delivery would be better off considering wireless LAN or satellite technology as more promising possibilities. ==>LEAGUE ROLLS OUT EMERGENCY RADIO PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGN, WEB SITE "Ham Radio . . . Getting the message through for your family and community" is the theme of the League's 2007 public relations campaign. The "Emergency Radio" Web site <http://www.emergency-radio.org/> debuted this week. ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, says the 2007 PR initiative picks up the momentum ARRL public information officers started during the just-ended "Hello" campaign. "As we begin launching the new emergency communications campaign, the friendships and good will developed in Hello will aid in future promotions of Amateur Radio," Pitts said. "For 100 years, radio in its many forms has saved lives and aided in crises. We have a great legacy and a bright future." The new Web site is a partner to the "Ham Radio . . . Getting the message through for your family and community" brochure now available and, in fact, already starting to make the rounds. "If an emergency or disaster should happen, the new 'Ham Radio . . . Getting the message through' site has the capability to quickly upload current information, providing PIOs with words and pictures to circulate to the media while the event is still news," Pitts explained. As both the brochure and the "Ham Radio . . . Getting the message through" Web site note: "Amateur Radio . . . has consistently been the most reliable means of communication in emergencies when other systems failed or were overloaded." The campaign stresses that ham radio works and works well and it doesn't require any external infrastructure, such as telephone lines or even the Internet, to get the message through. The Web site provides page space for emergency communication and disaster relief organizations to tell about their work. "So far, SKYWARN, MARS, SATERN and RACES have taken advantage of our offer, showing the versatility of ham radio in disasters and emergencies," Pitts says, "and more are expected." The campaign also emphasizes that ham radio is fun and a good way to keep in touch with friends or family. "You can have this capability for yourself and your family," the campaign points out, inviting members of the general public to get an Amateur Radio license and become active in emergency communication through the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) or other organization. A "How to Get Started" tab on the Web site offers step-by-step instructions. ==>ASTRONAUT'S VISIT ENHANCES SCHOOL'S HAM RADIO CONTACT WITH ISS Having a real, live astronaut on hand for the occasion helped to make a contact with the International Space Station's NA1SS even more special for 11 fourth and fifth graders at Romeo Elementary School in Dunnellon, Florida. When the contact with Mission Specialist Suni Williams, KD5PLM, was done, NASA Educator Astronaut Joe Acaba, KE5DAR, joined the students in their enthusiasm. Acaba, who once taught at Dunnellon Middle School, made several informational presentations to the entire school before and after the January 17 event, says Larry Phelps, K4OZS, of the Silver Spring Radio Club (SSRC), which handled Earth station duties. "As he spoke to the student body after the contact, he conveyed the excitement that everyone was feeling: 'How awesome was that?!'" Phelps recounted. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program arranged the direct VHF contact between K4OZS and NA1SS. All of the participating youngsters -- one from each fourth and fifth grade classroom -- had the chance to ask two questions over the course of the approximately 7-1/2 minute, 20 degree pass. During the QSO, Williams explained the role of the ISS in long-range plans for a human spaceflight to Mars. "Well, the ISS is sort of like a test bed," she responded. "We can live up here in microgravity and try out new processes like how to take care of each other in case we have a medical problem, how to work out so, when we go to Mars we can actually walk around and be productive." Williams told another youngster that there is weather in space. "I would have thought 'no,' but actually there is weather in space," she said. "We got hit by a solar activity the other day, and it changed the attitude of the space station." She also told the Romeo Elementary pupils that the ISS is constructed of aluminum, and her favorite thing is being able to float in microgravity -- "being a bird without having to flap your wings." All of the school's fourth and fifth graders got to witness the contact firsthand in the school's cafeteria, while the school's other 800 youngsters watched the proceedings via closed-circuit TV. Reporters from two television stations and a local newspaper covered the event for their viewers and readers. Phelps described the entire undertaking an "amazing project" and "an experience that will not be forgotten" by all involved. "Having Joe Acaba present for the contact was a real knockout," he commented afterward, and having the ham radio station, antennas and computers at the school helped to raise the level of excitement. "The students' faces told it all," he concluded. "Wow!" ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> is an international educational outreach with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>ARRL BOARD NAMES LEONARD, KNIGHT AWARD WINNERS The ARRL Board of Directors has named the recipients of the 2006 Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award and the Knight Distinguished Service Award. The Board selected ARRL member RJ Harris, W3HP, of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, to receive the Leonard Award, which goes annually to a media professional or group doing the best job of covering Amateur Radio in print, photo essay, audio or video formats. Harris was recognized for "professional coverage of Amateur Radio" on WHP Radio, in Harrisburg. As the 2006 winner, Harris will receive a $500 check and an engraved plaque. Licensed as WA3LIV in 1968, Harris is operations manager at WHP and the host of its morning show. Harris said he was honored to receive the Leonard Award. "Amateur Radio has been an important part of my life for nearly 40 years and a catalyst for my career as a professional broadcaster, he said. "I'm blessed to have a 5 kW signal with 148,000 listeners to be able to highlight the fine work of a great group of Americans -- radio amateurs. Hams truly are our country's stealth first responders." Harris said he'll use a portion of his cash award to purchase a new 2-meter transceiver to be the prize in an essay contest for students at the Trinity High School Amateur Radio Club, N3THS. He says the club has been responsible for helping more than 50 young people to earn their Amateur Radio licenses. One lucky ham will win his first radio. The award honors the late Bill Leonard, a former president of CBS News and an avid Amateur Radio operator who was most active on the air during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1958, Leonard's contribution to Sports Illustrated, "The Battle of the Hams," covered the "sport" of DX contesting. Leonard was inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1996. The ARRL Board named Jettie Hill, W6RFF, of Roseville, California, to receive the Knight Distinguished Service Award, named for long-time New Mexico Section Manager Joe Knight, W5PDY (SK). An active contester and DXer, Hill sports a long record of service within the ARRL Field Organization. One of the few individuals to serve as an SM in two different ARRL sections, Hill was Santa Clara Valley Section Communications Manager from 1978 until 1982. Subsequently he held the post of Sacramento Valley SM from 1989 until 2000 and again from 2002 until he stepped down last December 1. Hill was ARRL Pacific Division Vice Director from January 1982 through December 1983. The Board recognized Hill for "his long and distinguished career, including his years as an SM/SCM and his numerous contributions to the amateurs of his community, section and the ARRL." ==>FCC LETS FORMER LICENSEE RE-APPLY FOR RENEWAL; REDUCES, AFFIRMS FINES The FCC has cut a Michigan man a break. If he acts within 60 days, David H. Norris of White Lake, who was W8WLU, may re-apply to the Commission to renew his General class ticket, which expired in 2003. The FCC on January 29 released an Order on Reconsideration in the case, which dates back to September 2005 when Norris attempted to renew his license at the eleventh hour of the two-year grace period. The Commission dismissed his application, however, because Norris checked the wrong box on the hard-copy FCC Form 605 that arrived in Gettysburg one day before the grace period expired. This week, the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) reversed its stance and granted Norris's Petition for Reconsideration to let him re-apply for renewal. "We believe such an outcome is consistent with previous actions regarding amateur renewal applications," the FCC noted, citing a 2004 case. In its Order, the Commission said that Norris "demonstrated a strong interest in retaining his license by filing an application form, completed by hand, and referencing the correct call sign on such application which the Commission received before the grace period ended." According to the FCC, Norris incorrectly marked the "purpose" of his Form 605 application as "Administrative Update" instead of "Renewal Only" or "Renewal/Modification." Commission staff turned down the application, however, because the license already had expired and couldn't be modified. Norris told the FCC he completed his application based on his interpretation of an ARRL information sheet that he claimed was misleading. In its Order, the FCC reminded all Amateur Radio licensees that it's their responsibility to be aware of and to comply with FCC rules and regulations. The ARRL VEC says its instructions clearly state that licensees using Form 605 should choose "RO -- Renewal Only" when renewing without making other changes or "RM -- Renewal/Modification" when renewing and making other changes. "AU -- Administrative Update" only applies when filing a change of address, ARRL VEC notes. Ironically, had Norris been an ARRL member, the League not only could have reminded him when his license was due for renewal, it could have renewed it for him free of charge. The ARRL does charge a fee to renew vanity call signs, however. In other enforcement matters, the FCC agreed in a January 26 Memorandum Opinion and Order (MO&O) to reduce drastically a $10,000 fine, levied in the case of CB operator-turned-radio amateur Robert A. Spiry, KD7TRB, of Tacoma, Washington. The Commission cited Spiry for unauthorized operation on 11 meters that involved the use of uncertificated equipment and an illegal RF power amplifier. The alleged violations occurred in 2002, and the FCC affirmed the fine in an October 2004 Forfeiture Order (NOF). Responding to an FCC Notice of Apparent Liability in 2003, Spiry admitted the violations but said he'd sold his CB equipment and had obtained an Amateur Radio license, the FCC said. The Commission agreed to lower Spiry's fine to $1500 after he demonstrated an inability to pay the original fine. The FCC said its agents committed "no impropriety" in discussing Spiry's case and considering its possible implications on his Amateur Radio license. "It is well established that a violation in one service can impact on other licenses that an individual may have," the MO&O said. In an MO&O released January 29, the FCC reduced from $1000 to $250 the forfeiture it had levied on Mark A. Clay, N8QYK, of Huntington, West Virginia, for operating an unlicensed FM broadcast station. The FCC's Columbia, Maryland, Field Office initially proposed a $10,000 fine. The Enforcement Bureau subsequently reduced it to $1000, but Clay had sought to have the FCC dismiss the fine altogether, based on his inability to pay. The FCC further reduced it instead. Clay holds a Technician class Amateur Radio license. In another MO&O released January 29, the Commission declined to lower the $12,000 fine it had ordered a Portland, Oregon, taxi company to pay. The FCC alleges that spurious emissions resulting from Portland Taxicab Company's unauthorized operation resulted in harmful 70 cm interference to an Amateur Radio station, AB7F. The Commission also cited the firm, licensee of WPRJ576, for failing to properly identify. The taxi company did not dispute the violations but asked for a reduction in the fine based on inability to pay, the FCC said. ==>AMATEUR RADIO STEPS IN FOLLOWING TELEPHONE SERVICE INTERRUPTION When telephone cables were severed in two Texas locations January 29, Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers activated to fill the communication gap during repairs, if necessary. ARRL South Texas Section Emergency Coordinator Jerry Reimer, KK5CA, told ARRL Headquarters that the two unrelated incidents affected public 911 and regular telephone service from Midland to Alpine to El Paso. "The site near Alpine was cut by a road construction crew, not detected, and buried," Reimer reported. ARRL South Texas Section Manager Ray Taylor, N5NAV, says an ARES net stood by on 40 meters at the request of ARRL Brewster County Emergency Coordinator David Cockrum, N5DO, who was at the Alpine Emergency Operations Center (EOC). "West Texas has a great 2 meter linking system, but it didn't work in some of the areas, so we activated HF on 7.285," Taylor explained. Volunteers also stood by on 2 meters and, Taylor said, stations at several other EOCs also checked into the net, with Roger Podsim, KD5OTH, serving as net control station. At first it was thought the outage might last up to 18 hours, but the system was back up and running in a little more than 90 minutes, and the ARES net closed. "I want to thank all those that turned out to help," Taylor remarked afterward. "One thing about ham radio operators -- they are always ready to help when needed." ==>SOLAR UPDATE Astral aficionado Tad "Sunshiny Day" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Might we see a high-bottom minimum at the end of this solar cycle? January had a higher monthly average sunspot number than nine of the previous twelve months. Looking at predicted smoothed sunspot numbers for 2007, they don't really go any lower this year than what is predicted for this month and next. The predicted smoothed sunspot numbers for August 2006 through December 2007 are 15.4, 15.2, 14.0, 12.4, 11.5, 11.2, 11.0, 10.9, 11.0, 11.1, 11.3, 12.0, 11.2, 13.3, 15.6, 18.3, and 21.3. As you can see, the lowest value is March 2007, at 10.9. Notice that it rises rapidly at the end of this year. A strong solar wind caused geomagnetic numbers to jump high Monday, January 29, when the planetary A index rose to 36. We see quiet geomagnetic indices for next week, with higher activity centered on February 13 and again on February 25-26. This is based on activity during the current and previous solar rotation. Sunspot numbers for January 25 through 31 were 11, 11, 11, 13, 27, 33 and 32, with a mean of 19.7. The 10.7 cm flux was 79.9, 79.7, 80.5, 81.7, 86.7, 87.5, and 89.2, with a mean of 83.6. Estimated planetary A indices were 1, 2, 3, 5, 36, 21 and 16, with a mean of 12. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 1, 3, 3, 2, 19, 17 and 13, with a mean of 8.3. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html>. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The Delaware, Minnesota and Vermont QSO parties, the 10-10 International Winter Contest (SSB), the AGCW Straight Key Party, the YLRL YL-OM Contest (CW), the Mexico RTTY International Contest, the North American Sprint (SSB) and the ARCI Fireside SSB Sprint are the weekend of February 3-4. The RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (SSB) is February 5. The ARS Spartan Sprint is February 6. JUST AHEAD: The CQ WW RTTY WPX Contest, the Asia-Pacific Spring Sprint (CW), the KCJ Top Band Contest, the Dutch PACC Contest, the YLRL YL-OM Contest (SSB), the British Columbia QSO Challenge, the FISTS Winter Sprint, the RSGB First 1.8 MHz Contest (CW) and the North American Sprint (CW) are the weekend of February 10-11. The ARRL School Club Roundup runs from February 12 until February 16. The NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint, the AGCW Semi-Automatic Key Evening and the RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (Data) are February 14. See the ARRL Contest Branch page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar <http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/index.html> for more info. * ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration: Registration remains open through Monday, March 5, for these ARRL Certification and Continuing Education CCE online courses beginning Friday, March 16: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 2 (EC-002), Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 3 (EC-003R2), Antenna Modeling (EC-004), HF Digital Communications (EC-005), VHF/UHF -- Life Beyond the Repeater (EC-008) and Radio Frequency Propagation (EC-011). These courses will also open for registration Friday, March 2, for classes beginning Friday, April. To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the CCE Department <email@example.com>. * ULS announces February 3 maintenance outage: The FCC has announced that the Universal Licensing System (ULS) <http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/> will be offline for maintenance Saturday, February 3, from 6 AM Eastern Time (1100 UTC) until 12 PM Eastern Time (1700 UTC). The outage will affect the application search, license search, license manager and other ULS functions. * New ARRL department gets official name: As a result of an ARRL Headquarters reorganization announced in January, the Membership Services Department and Field and Educational Services combined into a single unit. The new department now has an official name: The Membership and Volunteer Programs Department (MVP). Dave Patton, NN1N, is the MVP manager. The reorganization also established a new position of Emergency Communications Manager within MVP and created a new Education Department. * FCC issues "show cause" order to Washington licensee: The FCC has asked David L. Titus, KB7ILD, of Seattle, Washington, to justify why his General class Amateur Radio license should not be revoked. The Commission Enforcement Bureau's January 30 Order to Show Cause in EB Docket No. 07-13 initiates a hearing process to determine whether Titus "is qualified to remain a Commission licensee" in light of a 1993 felony conviction for "communicating with a minor for immoral purposes." According to the FCC order, Titus received a 25-month prison sentence, and the Seattle Police Department identifies him as a registered sex offender. The FCC says the Communications Act of 1934 provides that it may revoke any license if conditions come to its attention that would warrant a denial of the licensee's original application. The Commission said felony convictions, "especially those involving sexual offenses involving children," raise questions regarding a licensee's character qualifications. While Titus's conviction was some 14 years ago, "the nature of his criminal misconduct and the fact the Amateur Radio Service is particularly attractive to children call into serious question whether he should be permitted to retain his Amateur Radio authorization," the FCC said. Titus has 30 days to respond. The burden of proof in a hearing would be on the Enforcement Bureau. The show cause order is on the FCC Web site <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-377A1.pdf>. * ISS crew members swear in US Navy re-enlistees: International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 14 crew members Michael Lopez-Alegria, KE5GTK, and Suni Williams, KD5PLB, swore in 16 re-enlisting sailors aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower during a special live link-up with the space station January 29. Lopez-Alegria and Williams, both US Naval Academy graduates, conducted the long distance ceremony as the ISS orbited 220 miles above the southern Indian Ocean. Lopez-Alegria has been in orbit since last September 2006 and will return to Earth in April. Williams has been aboard the ISS since December and will return to Earth in July. The Eisenhower is the Navy's flagship for the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group. The Expedition 14 crew is continuing preparations for the first of three spacewalks beginning Wednesday morning. * ARRL Foundation Board of Directors meets: The ARRL Foundation Board of Directors met January 23 for the Foundation Annual Meeting. During the first six months of fiscal year 2007, contributions totaled $91,775, including $375 in memorial contributions from eight donors, two unrestricted contributions and contributions supporting the K2TEO Scholarship, The Dayton Amateur Radio Association Scholarships, The Tom and Judith Comstock Scholarship, The Seth Horen K1LOM, Memorial Scholarship, The Challenge Met Scholarship, The Chicago FM Scholarship, The Mary Lou Brown Scholarship and The Metzger Scholarship. New scholarship funding was received for the Zachary Taylor Stevens Scholarship, The Richard W. Bendicksen Scholarship and The Peoria-Amateur Radio Club Scholarship. FY 2007 operating expenses through December 31, 2006, totaled $11,852, which was allocated to scholarship funds for the first time. In 2006 the ARRL Foundation awarded 53 scholarships, including the William R. Goldfarb Memorial Scholarship, totaling $67,402. Goldfarb winners to date are Ben Schupack, NW7DX, set to graduate from Whitman College in May; Jon Krenzel, KC0AMG; Tim O'Donnell, AB2LE, and Mellissa Meye, KB0WZA. During the first half of FY 2007, the Foundation awarded grants totaling $3530 to the Otsego County Amateur Radio Association and the Walt Whitman ARC. The Foundation also awarded a challenge grant to the Pentagon ARC to match local funding raised to install a D-Star system at the Pentagon. * DXCC Desk approves operation for DXCC credit: The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved this operation for DXCC credit: VU7LD - Lakshadweep Islands, operation December 1-20, 2006. For more information, visit the DXCC Web page <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/>. "DXCC Frequently Asked Questions" can answer most questions about the DXCC program. * Amateur Radio volunteers needed for Boston Marathon: Marathon Amateur Radio Communications (MARC) is seeking Amateur Radio volunteers to provide communication during the Boston Marathon, which takes place Monday, April 16. MARC is a consortium of the Boston Amateur Radio Club, the Framingham Amateur Radio Association, and the Minuteman Repeater Association. These organizations are working together to provide radio communication support for the annual Hopkinton-to-Boston run, sponsored by the Boston Athletic Association (BAA). This year marks the 111th running of the Boston Marathon, which is expected to attract some 20,000 runners. Visit the MARC Amateur Radio Volunteer Signup page to register <http://mtfort.vh.primushost.com/marc/access.html>. -- Richard H. Wheeler, N1KXR * Portugal now BPL-free, radio amateur reports: Citing news media accounts in his country, Carlos Mourato, CT4RK, in Portugal says the telecommunications corporation Oni withdrawn its investment in broadband over power line (BPL), known in Europe as PLC (power line carrier or power line communications). "With this fantastic news we are proud to proclaim Portugal a free BPL/PLC country!" Mourato exclaimed. Oni reportedly has said its decision was not a matter of technology but strictly a matter of good business. The company says BPL/PLC performed well but failed to attract the customer base the company felt it needed in the face of competition from other broadband services. Utility EDP, which closely cooperated with Oni in the BPL/PLC effort, now has severed its fiscal relationship with the company. =========================================================== The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American Radio Relay League: ARRL--the National Association For Amateur Radio, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259; <http://www.arrl.org/>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President. The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential and general news of interest to active radio amateurs. Visit the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest Amateur Radio news and news updates. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> also offers informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled and edited from The ARRL Letter. It's also available as a podcast from our Web site. Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter/American Radio Relay League. ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): firstname.lastname@example.org ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, email@example.com ==>ARRL News on the Web: <http://www.arrl.org/> ==>ARRL Audio News: <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> or call 860-594-0384 ==>How to Get The ARRL Letter The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly from ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for e-mail delivery: ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site <http://www.arrl.org/members/>. You'll have an opportunity during registration to sign up for e-mail delivery of The ARRL Letter, W1AW bulletins, and other material. 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