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Australian Communications, Media Authority to Revise BPL Standards

ZDNet Australia carried an article last week by Renai LeMay, Comms regulator to revise BPL guidelines describing discussions at a recent conference in Sydney, Australia concerning the potential for broadband over power lines (BPL) and the risk of it interfering with established radio services. Present at the conference were representatives from Aurora and Country Energy, a utility testing BPL, the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA), representing Australian amateur radio operators and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the government agency responsible for regulating telecommunications in Australia.

WIA covered the conference on its Web site in the article WIA Attends Sydney BPL Conference. That article said, "Putting aside the considerable amount of hype which has emerged in the E-media since the conference, our view is that little new information was presented to the meeting."

Both articles commented on the ACMA announcement that they would review the responses to ACMA's discussion paper and information gained during last year's tests. WIA said, "ACMA is 'hastening slowly' and awaits a stable trial environment before attempting emission measurements of the Aurora system in Hobart. The WIA is also of the view that measurements taken when the technology is changing would be of limited value."

During a round table discussion at the meeting, WIA expressed its concern that "there are significant radio frequency (RF) issues with the Aurora site, and with BPL in general." When challenged why BPL in Australia should be treated differently than in other countries, WIA representatives explained the RF problem was particularly bad in Australia because the nation is "a very heavy user of HF radio communications and a lot of services exist in Australia that don't exist in Europe."

For more information on BPL in Australia, see the ACMA Broadband over Power Line Communications Web page. On that page you can view the Discussion Paper, the BPL Interim Trial Guidelines, and specific information the tests. The page also has links to other BPL resources on the Web.