ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB012 (2005)

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ARLB012 Resolution Calls on FCC To Evaluate BPL Interference, 
Review Rules

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ARRL Bulletin 12  ARLB012
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  April 29, 2005
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB012
ARLB012 Resolution Calls on FCC To Evaluate BPL Interference, 
Review Rules

Rep Michael Ross, WD5DVR, of Arkansas, has introduced a resolution
in the US House of Representatives calling on the FCC to "conduct a
full and complete analysis" of radio interference from broadband
over power line (BPL). The resolution, H. Res 230, says the
Commission should comprehensively evaluate BPL's interference
potential incorporating "extensive public review and comment,"
and--in light of that analysis--to "reconsider and review" its new
BPL rules, adopted last October. If approved by the full House, the
non-binding resolution, introduced April 21, would express the
requests as "the sense of the House of Representatives."

"We are grateful to Congressman Ross and his staff for taking a
leadership position in recognizing that the BPL interference issue
deserves more careful consideration than the FCC was willing to give
it under former Chairman Powell," said ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ.
The resolution has been referred to the House Committee on Energy
and Commerce, on which Ross serves.

The resolution's prime focus is on BPL's potential to disrupt
critical public safety radiocommunication. It cites National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) studies
that "have determined that broadband over power line creates a 'high
risk' of radio wave interference, and that harmful interference to
public safety mobile radio receivers can be expected at distances of
75 meters from the power line where broadband over power line is in
operation, and at distances of up to 460 meters from fixed stations,
such as VHF police or fire dispatch communications facilities."

The resolution notes that the same NTIA study determined that BPL
interference to aeronautical and airline travel communications
"could be expected at distances up to 40 kilometers from the center
of the broadband over power line system, and that interference to
outer marker beacons for airline instrument landing systems could be
expected at great distances as well."

Many public safety agencies and support services, including
emergency medical services, fire, and law enforcement, utilize
Low-Band VHF (30-50 MHz), the resolution points out. According to
the resolution, at least 13 states--California, Connecticut,
Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming--use
the band for state police operations. It's the primary public safety
radio band in nine states.

The resolution further notes that the Association of Public Safety
Communications Officials Inc (APCO), and the National Public Safety
Telecommunications Council (NPSTC), have urged the FCC to withhold
final action in the BPL proceeding for at least a year, pending a
"conclusive determination" of BPL's potential to interfere with
public safety and other licensed radio systems operating below 80
MHz. It also cites comments filed by the Missouri State Highway
Patrol, which uses a statewide radio system with more than 1400
Low-Band VHF users. The Missouri State Highway Patrol commented that
the overall effect of BPL implementation would be "a potentially
significant increase in interference to the mission of critical
public safety communications," the resolution says.

The resolution recounts that the FCC has struggled for years to
resolve widespread harmful radio interference to first responders on
800 MHz and "should not have proceeded with introduction of a
technology which appears to have substantial potential to cause
destructive interference to police, fire, emergency medical
services, and other public safety radio systems" without first
conducting a comprehensive evaluation.

A copy of HRes 230 is available on the ARRL Web site in .PDF format
at,
http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/filings/hres230/HRes230.pdf.
See the ARRL Web site, http://www.arrl.org/, for more information.
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