Broadband “Weekend at Bernie’s” Continues at FCC
The FCC has released a second Report and Order, affirming its rules for Broadband Over Powerline (BPL). The document is available here. It’s quite a lengthy mind-numbing read, but skimming through it, it appears the FCC has rejected changes to its previous findings over the past several years. Undoubtedly ARRL will have much reporting and analysis over the next few days.
After eight years of trying to take hold, Internet access BPL has for all intents and purposes become a dead technology, not even being mentioned in recent FCC broadband reports. The BPL industry has been attempting to make inroads into so-called Smart Grid technology which will upgrade and automate electrical distribution networks. I haven’t been following this industry closely, but last I had looked they didn’t appear to be having much success. However the love affair with BPL at the FCC, and the OET in particular, lives on.
I thought I read somewhere many years ago that BPL is highly susceptible to interference from amateur radio (among other things). If that is still true, putting a smart-grid using BPL may be a pretty stupid idea. What can we mess up just by using our transceivers?
LOL! Goody has this knack for being able to tell the whole story with just a headline.
You wouldn’t expect *anyone* in the US Goverment to ever admit they are wrong, would you? How about our president who claims to be right 100% of the time? Nothing new to see here.
going to naught
Note that Smart Grid is not BPL. BPL advocates wish that was the case, but BPL is one of several potential transport methods for Smart Grid. However, the same problems that haunted it while it was being pushed as an Internet access network still apply to Smart Grid applications. I think there is a bright future for Smart Grid, without BPL.
To be fair to this FCC administration, at least at a high level they “get it” when it comes to broadband. They’ve redefined broadband from the previous administration’s horribly archaic benchmark of 200 kbs, and they’ve rebuilt broadband coverage reporting which was quite flawed in that it considered one broadband customer in a zip code as full coverage for the entire area. I haven’t heard Genachowski mention BPL at all in a positive light. For Powell and Martin it was their broadband plan.
This latest R&O is a lot of technical minutia and administrative masturbation. My guess is the Office of Engineering and Technology is merely trying to keep the flies off the body, continuing with the Weekend at Bernie’s metaphors. I question whether ARRL should continue this battle. I think they should just continue to watch for Smart Grid deployments and report violations as they see them. As we’ve seen with past BPL deployments, it’s not hard to find non-compliance with the rules, however flawed they are.