FCC affirms thrust of broadband via power line rules

The FCC issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order (MO&O) Aug. 3 generally affirming existing rules for Access Broadband over Power Line (Access BPL) systems and keeping in play safeguards it says will protect existing radio services from harmful interference.

The MO&O comes in response to several petitions received at the commission seeking reconsideration of the October 2004 BPL rules. According to the commission, it is committed to addressing interference concerns. The MO&O made the point that changes to Part 15 rules were made to prevent Access BPL operations from generating harmful interference to licensed radio services.

Among the MO&O highlights are:

  • denial of a television industry request to exclude BPL from frequencies above 50MHz;
  • denial of request from amateur radio operators to prohibit BPL operations pending further study and to exclude BPL from frequencies used for amateur radio operations;
  • denial of a request for aeronautical industry to exclude BPL operating on low-voltage lines from frequencies reserved for certain aeronautical operations;
  • denial of a gas and oil industry request to be considered public safety entities;
  • affirmation of rules regarding emission limits for BPL, including its determination that the reduction of emissions to 20dB below the normal Part 15 emissions limits will be adequate for mobile operations;
  • affirmation of the July 7, 2006, deadline for certification of equipment for BPL systems with a proviso that uncertified equipment in inventory can be used for one year to replace defective equipment where operations exist; and
  • affirmation of a rule requiring BPL deployment to be entered into a public database at least 30 days before equipment deployment.

The commission did adopt changes to its previous rules to protect radio astronomy stations and to continue to protect aeronautical stations that are relocated.

For more information, visit: www.fcc.gov .