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News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Thursday, September 25, 2003


Powerline broadband: FCC Commissioner lauds technology, predicts it has a bright future

In remarks to the United Powerline Council's annual conference this week, Commissioner Karen Abernathy spoke highly of broadband over powerline (BPL) technology:

"I am very excited about broadband-over-powerline technology. I have seen it in action, and I believe it has a very bright future."

Commissioner Abernathy went on to articulate what she called the "Nascent Services Doctrine" -- basically a set of concepts for regulators to use when evaluating new technologies such as powerline broadband or ultra-wideband. In a nutshell, this doctrine encourages development of new technologies with minimal regulation until the technology is mature enough for regulators to understand.

Commissioner Abernathy's speech can be downloaded from her web site.

The ARRL, representing amateur radio operators, objected strongly to Commissioner Abernathy's remarks:

"The ARRL has strongly objected to FCC Commissioner Kathleen Q. Abernathy's suggestion that Broadband over Power Line (BPL) technology will contribute to what she described as 'broadband Nirvana.'"


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