BPL - AT THE WAR FRONT
There are strong indications that the introduction of broadband over
powerlines, BPL, is getting closer in Australia. The technology could be
available to consumers in Tasmania within a few months, and two companies
are trialling it in New South Wales. With the very latest, here is
Jim Linton VK3PC.
Tasmania's electricity distribution and retail company, Aurora Energy has
announced it will have a major commercial trial of BPL by mid-2005.
It has hailed as a success Australia's first pilot trial of the technology
conducted in May this year that involved four houses and part of the
company's office building in Hobart.
In its annual report, Aurora Energy claims very competitive Internet data
rates for the technology accessed via power points when compared to that
available through the telecommunications network.
Meanwhile an industry newsletter reports that another company, Energy
Australia, ran a BPL trial in Newcastle, making it Australia's second
serious trial of the technology.
A third power company, Country Energy is expected to run a trial in
Queanbeyan, near Canberra, before the end of this month.
The power industry believes that BPL is ready and now only awaits a
by the Australian Communications Authority.
The ACA's current review of its "Regulatory Philosophy and Compliance
and recent work through the Radio Consultative Committee, are all moving
towards an announcement on Australia's regulatory approach to BPL.
This has been Jim Linton VK3PC for WIA National News.
In breaking news, WIA's Phil Wait VK2DKN and Barry White 2AAB were invited
to a demonstration of that BPL technology in Queanbeyan Thursday.
A three person team from the UK Open University (Power Line Communications
Group) lead by Professor John Newbury discussed the development of
international standards and stressed the variability of the power network,
the importance of measuring the interference risks, and the need for
developing technologies which allow a range of solutions to different field
situations. In particular they stressed the variations in the power
distribution network, the interference issue, and the signal attenuation
variation between old and new houses.
They also mentioned possibility of ionospheric propagation.
The equipment used in the test saw levels of interference is so severe
(S9 + 50db outside the premises) that filtering or notching out by only
20 - 30dB will have little effect on reducing its interference potential.
In Phil Waites opinion it will be hard to see how cooperation and goodwill
between US amateurs and the BPL industry (as recommended by the FCC) will
possible as the interference levels are just so high and so widespread.
Amateur operation in urban areas with BPL access will be impossible.
The complete WIA report is available at wia.org.au and next week we will
attempt to have the WIA group who attended the tests give us a "word
*Eliminate Qru, Qrt & Broadband over Power Lines to ragchew!
**Stephen Newlyn, VK5VKA. G'day from the City of Elizabeth, South Australia.
***Visit the "Stop BPL" page
****Visit my Home Page at http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~vk5vka/index.html