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Re: [officers] Re: "Two Hundred Meters and Down," 2003 edition

> My point is that inefficient analog modulation methods cut both ways. 
> Not only are they easily interfered with, but they cause a lot of 
> interference to others because of the high power levels required to 
> produce acceptable signal-to-noise ratios. So far the emphasis seems 
> to be on the interference it can cause to the amateur service, but I 
> can't imagine that there won't also be a lot of interference *to* BPL 
> by amateurs, aggravated by the very high power levels many amateurs 
> use on HF. If the FCC is really determined to approve BPL, the 
> potential for interference *from* the amateur service *to* BPL could 
> represent the more serious threat to the amateur service.

My $.02:

It really makes a difference in terms of principle whether it's 
*necessary* for a system to generate this much interference.  If there 
was *no* other way to get last-mile broadband than to generate 
broadband RF interference across virtually every HF band there is, then 
I'd see this as more of a valid argument.  As it stands, BPL is about 
the worst possible choice for last-mile, simply because it's planned 
for transmission lines that are totally unsuited for it out of sheer 
laziness and desire to make a quick buck from people who neither know 
nor particularly care what it means to those of us who are already on 
the band.  It doesn't HAVE to be as bad as it is -- that's what gripes 
me.  It's possible to give Joe Customer his cheap broadband without 
doing it over a connection that was never intended to carry data.

I guess it bugs me that someone can propose such an idiotic scheme, 
either out of sheer thoughtlessness or even a deliberate intent to 
squeeze ham radio into extinction (and I've long suspected that a lot 
of the big telecom companies have at least a covert desire to do 
exactly that, mainly because they want to use our spectrum for more 
stuff they can make money on), and nobody outside of a few in our own 
community understand how technically, and ethically, wrong it is.  It's 
simply the fact that it's *unnecessarily* disruptive .. and yes, 
there's enough folklore about ham radio out there that a repeat of the 
TVI fiasco of the 50's and 60's is probably inevitable.

Anytime someone's TV, cordless phone, WLAN, etc. in the neighborhood 
gets twitchy, the neighborhood ham is the first person whose door gets 
pounded on, and I suspect if BPL doesn't work right, the same will be 
true of it, regardless of whether the neighborhood ham was causing the 
interference or not.  And, add to that the likelihood that most folks 
on HF will NEED to run full legal limit just to bust through all this 
QRN, and when the propagation is open you'll be fighting more noise 
from more places and have to run enough EIRP to roast birds in nearby 
trees .. well, you get the idea.  But .. even so .. it's more how much 
ham radio is *perceived* as an interference source than how much it 
actually is, which will be slim to none, most likely.  My impression is 
that the overwhelming majority of the interference will be from BPL to 
the amateur service, and there won't be much sympathy outside the ham 
community when this happens.  Call me cynical, but I've seen this 
happen ..

Heard from a flight instructor:
"The only dumb question is the one you DID NOT ask, resulting in my 
going out and having to identify your bits and pieces in the midst of 
torn and twisted metal."

Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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