FCC dealt setback in broadband-over-power-lines push
Posted by Anne Broache
In a potential setback for fans of broadband over power lines, a federal appeals court has sided in part with amateur radio operators who challenged rules designed to speed the nascent Internet service's rollout.
When setting rules for BPL operators nearly two years ago, the Federal Communications Commission said it was trying to encourage deployment of a "third pipe" to compete with cable and DSL services, while establishing limits aimed at protecting public safety, maritime, radio-astronomy, aeronautical navigation, and amateur radio operators from harmful interference. The American Radio Relay League (ARRL), which represents amateur and ham radio operators, however, promptly sued the agency, contending that the FCC's approach was insufficient to ward off interference with its radios and inconsistent with its previous rules.
On Friday, the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia on Friday issued a ruling (pdf) that took issue with the way the FCC arrived at its rules.
The United Power Line Council, which represents the BPL industry, downplayed the significance of the ruling, saying it was largely procedural and noting that the current rules remain in effect.
"We're a little surprised that the court took issue with those two issues that it did send back, but I expect the FCC will work quickly on those and come to a conclusion soon," said Brett Kilbourne, the group's director of regulatory affairs.
According to the UPLC, there were approximately 35 BPL deployments around the United States as of last year. As of the middle of last year, there were about 5,000 U.S. BPL subscribers, according to the FCC's latest data.
29 aprile 2008
USA, un tribunale gela i fan del powerline
Una decisione di una corte di giustizia federale negli Stati Uniti potrebbe rendere la vita più difficile agli operatori del powerline, la banda larga distribuita lungo i cavi della corrente elettrica. La FCC concepisce da tempo il "BPL" (broadband power line) come una sorta di terzo polo, concorrente del cavo coassiale e del DSL, ma la corte d'appello del District of Columbia qualche giorno fa ha sollevato diverse eccezioni sulle regole che la FCC aveva stabilito per cercare di favorire l'adozione di questo sistema. Dal canto loro, scrive News.com dando la notizia, gli operatori BPL minimizzano la portata di questa sentenza e affermano che in realtà non cambia nulla. Resta il fatto che negli Stati Uniti finora si registrano appena cinquemila abbonamenti per 35 impianti BPL sparsi nel territorio. In questi ultimi anni l'associazione dei radioamatori, ARRL, ha fatto fuoco e fiamme contro il connubio tra Internet ed elettricità, a causa delle pesanti interferenze delle apparecchiature nello spettro delle onde corte.