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Well ..

As far as I can see, the questions everyone needs to ask are:

1. Who wants this?

My answer: Large power conglomerates that want to get in on the 
last-mile broadband game.  My guess is that the end user isn't even 
thinking of this as an option unless it's aggressively marketed in 
competition with DSL and cable, and who knows how well it will perform, 
all noise radiation issues aside?  The primary purpose of pushing BPL 
through is as a means of fleecing the pinks.  As long as the power 
companies can flog this service to the unsuspecting public, get a few 
people to sign onto it, and bill them for it, they've accomplished 
their objective.

2. Who doesn't want this?

My answer: Virtually everyone that uses HF.  We're not alone; there are 
several federal government agencies that will be severely impacted by 
this, since HF allows them to communicate in situations where they'd 
otherwise need satellite or leased lines.  WIth a whole country's worth 
of BPL installations in all major cities, it would no longer be a local 
problem either -- DX that happens to be where propagation is open to 
the US would get hit too, and even in relatively "radio quiet" areas, 
20 meters and other bands that are useful for stateside QSO's would be 
saturated with this trash.

3. How aware would the end user be of the adverse impact on other 

My answer: Probably almost completely oblivious.  You can count on the 
people selling this to downplay any concerns on what it might do to the 
neighbors, and in today's social climate, appealing to the end user 
would in most cases be of negligible benefit.  In some cases it might 
actually work against us, because there are people who might *increase* 
their BPL usage if they thought it might have a harmful effect on 
others.  Never mind that these are the people that complain the loudest 
when a flood or tornado hits their area and they have to evacuate to a 
shelter, and their cellphones don't work, nobody responds on his 
OnStar, and the poor ARES guy at the shelter is getting hammered with 
so much BPL static he can't get welfare traffic out.  Considering that 
it takes a major disaster for most people to realize there still *is* 
such a thing as ham radio, telling them that BPL would almost certainly 
kill it in any practical sense would probably earn us an apathetic 
shrug for our efforts.

4. How best to make people aware of how bad this thing is?

My answer:  Three words -- Education, Education, Education.  It's our 
only hope, and we may already be too late.  The FCC can't really help 
in this case, because greedy people with very deep pockets want this, 
and they're putting an enormous amount of pressure on the FCC to do 
what they're told and not be too difficult about it.  Unless there's a 
strong public sentiment against it, the FCC probably won't want to go 
up against these lobbies .. the only way they'll even consider stopping 
it or even regulating it in terms of noise impact is if people 
*outside* the ham community are up in arms about it .. it helps more 
than you know that we have Mr. Hollingsworth heading up the Enforcement 
Bureau, but to most people, we're a small lobby no matter how vocal and 
well organized we are ..

> I just filed a comment with the FCC over the BPL issue.  This is one of
> those things that no doubt Big Money will win out on.  However I did at
> least try.  The thing that frustrates me the most is that this all
> encompassing network will serve what function?  The vast majority of
> Americans do not need high speed internet.  Sure it is nice for my 
> children
> to be able to talk to new friends who is a 45 year old psychopath.  It 
> is
> also nice that people will be able to illegally download music and 
> videos.
> It is a great thing that porn will be more easily passed.  Spamers 
> will be
> able to work form home.  Hackers will have new opportunities to infect 
> your
> computer.
> Maybe I am naieve, but I just do not know of many  legitimate uses for 
> high
> speed internet fo the average guy.  I can go to Walmart to buy music 
> and
> videos.  My daughter still knows how to dial a phone.  And I keep a 
> garbage
> can by my mail box for junk mail.  (I have never had to update this 
> can so
> that it can filter out any infected mail)
> The whole thing is just a lot of dollar signs, and it makes me sick.
> 73's
> Jeff VanMeter KA8HQL
> ----
> Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the 
> author.
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           --... ...-- -.. . -. ..... ...- -...
                   Bruce Bostwick N5VB

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