FCC Reports Decline in BPL Customers
On January 16, 2009, the Federal Communications Commission released data, as of December 31, 2007, on the services used for high-speed Internet access in the United States. According to the data collected by the FCC, as of that date there were 121.2 million high-speed lines (including wireless), a 20 percent increase in just six months.
In sharp contrast to the rapid growth in mobile wireless, cable modem, ADSL and fiber as delivery mechanisms to subscribers, Broadband over Power Line (BPL) utilization apparently declined during the period. According to the FCC figures, the category "Power Line and Other" dropped from 5420 lines in June 2007 to just 5274 six months later. 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. With the change at the FCC helm that is about to take place, we hope the foot-dragging will come to an end and the Commission will fulfill its obligations to the Court as well as to its licensees."