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FCC Adopts BPL Rules - Powell Gives Ominous Warning

Want to get this overturned?  Make your voice heard November 2nd!!!!

73 de N8AU, Jim in Raymore, MO

-----Original Message-----

>From the CQ Newsroom...

The FCC today adopted new rules for Broadband over Power Lines, or BPL,
that it said includes provisions to protect hams and other HF spectrum
users from interference and to set up processes for quick resolution of
any problems that do occur. However, according to the FCC's news
release, disrupting service to BPL subscribers apparently is not an
option in resolving interference problems. "The rule changes in the
Order establish specific technical and administrative requirements for
Access BPL equipment and operators to ensure that interference does not
occur," reads the FCC announcement, continuing, "and, should it occur,
to provide for a timely resolution of that harmful interference without
disruption of service to Access BPL subscribers." (Emphasis added) The
text of the decision was not immediately available.

The concerns of hams about BPL's interference potential were not lost on
the Commissioners, as reflected in their individual comments. A joint
statement by Chairman Michael Powell and Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy
noted that "the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) has done
thorough testing to ensure the rules we are adopting protect existing
governmental uses, amateur radio operators, and other licensees from
interference." Commissioner Kevin Martin said, "I recognize that Amateur
radio operators still have concerns that they will experience
interference from BPL systems." 

Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein noted that "we also have an existing
user base that includes public safety licensees, federal Government
users, and amateur radio operators - important services that we need to
protect from harmful interference." Adelstein also pointed out that
while some BPL systems "can co-exist very well with existing licensees
in the HF and VHF bands," other systems "have not fared so well, and
these systems should not be deployed on a commercial basis if they will
continue to result in harmful interference." (Emphasis added)

Commissioner Michael Copps said, "I remain concerned with the question
of interference to amateur radio users. I take the concerns of this
community very seriously, and believe the FCC has an obligation to work
hard to monitor, investigate, and take quick action where appropriate to
resolve harmful interference ... These cases must not take years to

Chairman Powell had the last word however, at the FCC's open meeting at
which the new rules were adopted, and in closing comments just before
the vote that were not included in his formal statement released by the
Commission, Powell assured hams that they "are still an important
resource in the American communications landscape," but then warned
amateurs, in essence, not to stand in the way of progress. "But let me
underscore," the Chairman concluded, "the potential for the American
economy is too great, is too enormous, too potentially groundbreaking,
to sit idly by and allow any claim or any possible speculative fear keep
us from continuing to drive this technology and drive America into the
broadband future."

The full text of the Report and Order is expected to be released early
next week. 

(Thank you to Newsline for providing us with audio of the Commission

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