ARRL Enthused About New Motorola BPL Technology

For those who have been waiting for your power company to offer broadband service, this might be the way the power companies SHOULD implement it.

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ARRL enthused about new Motorola BPL technology

May 26, 2005 11:10 AM By Donny Jackson

ARRL, the national association for amateur radio, expressed optimism that a broadband-over-power-line (BPL) system announced this week by Motorola will not generate harmful interference with amateur-radio operations.

Dubbed Powerline LV, the solution represents Motorola?s first product in the BPL space. Whereas most BPL systems require the broadband traffic to travel solely through the electric grid, Powerline LV uses Motorola?s high-speed wireless Canopy system for backhaul to the electricity pole or pad-mounted transformer, from which the signal is sent to the house via the electrical wiring, said Dick Illman, a member the advanced wireless team in Motorola special markets division of engineering.

This architecture design removes the need for the broadband signal to travel over the medium-voltage (MV) wires that link substations to transformers. Radiation from BPL-enabled MV wires is the primary source of interference for amateur-radio operators, said ARRL spokesman Allen Pitts.

Low-voltage (LV) wires used to serve homes from electrical poles do not create as much interference as MV wires, and Motorola has taken other steps to mitigate interference, including the use of Homeplug home-networking technology and a device that blocks signals from entering amateur-radio frequencies, Pitts said.

"We're not ready to endorse it yet, but we are absolutely very encouraged by it," Pitts said. "Amateur radio operators were never against any technology; we're against interference. If there's no interference, we're all for it [BPL]."

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