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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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Wednesday, March 24, 2004


NTIA's BPL study still missing in action

The NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) manages the radio frequency spectrum allocations made to U.S. federal agencies; there are over 80,000 assignments in the 1700 kHz to 80 MHz range that might be subject to interference from any BPL (broadband over power line) emissions. NTIA also performs telecom research functions for the executive branch of the federal government.

The NTIA said almost a year ago that it was going to undertake a major study of the technology. This study was expected to have a major influence on the FCC's inquiry into BPL technology. First, phase 1 results were due to be released late last year. Then they were going to release them this past winter. Meanwhile, the FCC went ahead and made its' preliminary decisions on BPL, issuing its' NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rule Making) in February.

It's no longer winter and still no NTIA study has been released. Is this due to technical difficulties in analyzing BPL technology? Or is it caused by struggles within the Bush administration between HF (high frequency) radio users and BPL advocates? Is there any connection between this delay and the letter from the Department of Homeland Security that I noted earlier today?

Fiber Planners has power utility clients interested in possibly combining BPL with the ADSS fiber networks we've designed for them; we're eager to see the NTIA's study. If some reader knows what's going on with the study, please feel free to post a comment using the link just below.


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