Due to the changing nature of BPL technology, these links and page may be changed or deleted at any time.
Latest Australian BPL/PLC Information
What has changed?
Australian broadband powerline regulations breach WTO
||Added January 2010|
info on Tasmanian BPL/PLC Trials (Look for Greg
Todd- 25 Meg Submission)
||Added October 2011|
Latest World-Wide BPL/PLC Information
Brazilian BPL Links (Most in Portuguese (As supplied by Flávio PY2ZX)
Recordings of BPL/PLC interference (In Portuguese)
||Added November 2009|
|Company wants to install
Marine BPL/PLC on ships
||Added September 2011|
|Conformity Magazine: Broadband over Powerlines Alternative or Trouble?||New Site Added|
|D-Link's new Powerline AV
Combo Router, merges powerline 200Mbps technology
||Added January 2011|
|Documents show CAA fears over powerline networks: The Register||Added August 2010|
||Added December 2009|
|EU BPL/PLC Standard Questioned||Added June 2009|
spying threat from broadband networks - Telegraph
||Added May 2011|
EMC Society standards development committee withdraws as
cosponsor of IEEE BPL EMC Standard
||Added February 2011|
Publishes Final Broadband-over-Power-Line Standard
||Added February 2011|
|Interference from PLT/BPL
says BBC report (1971 Kb pdf)
||Added May 2011|
has concerns about PLT/BPL
||Added June 2011|
To Trial 200 Mbps Powerline Broadband | eWEEK Europe UK
||Added January 2011|
|NIST Lays Out
Specification to Turn Power Grid to Network Grid
||Added October 2010|
|Portugal: Interference (QRM) made by CORINEX A200 PLC homeplug, February 2010. (Youtube)||Added February 2010|
line tech could crash aircraft and shut down the
Archers: The Register
||Added July 2010|
|RIP Broadband over Powerlines - City of Manassas||Added April 2010|
criticizes PLT/BPL growth (page links to pdf file)
||Added August 2012|
Grid Official Reference Page
||Added May 2010|
|Sweden acts on BPL/PLT equipment||Added November 2009|
Smart Grid: Does BPL finally have a Home?
||Added June 2010|
BPL Provider IBEC Announces Shutdown
||Added February 2012|
M E N U
What is BPL?
Although power line communications is not new, attempting to use it for broadband Internet is. Using the power lines, BPL transmits data (usually a broadband Internet service) to a home or business (homes mostly) via the power socket. In doing so, BPL creates a lot of interference to vital long distance radio communications frequencies.
So what's the big deal over BPL!
To put it simply and assuming ALL the technical reports are correct and depending on the type of BPL system used, anyone listening to radio frequencies from VLF up to lower VHF (and possibly higher) will hear a loud noise on their radio receiver similar to the following list. (depending on the BPL system it will sound either like a Geiger counter; noisy carrier waves turning on and off very rapidly; or it will sound like a dial-up modem connecting to a phone line). (For some BPL/PLC sound examples please click here, here, here, here, here or here!! Most are either in MP3 or WAV format)
This sound is permanent and it does not just hit one radio frequency, it wipes out many radio frequencies at one time, in fact, the more BPL users are on-line using the electricity cable for broadband Internet, the more radio frequencies will be in use.
Noise levels above 10db over 9 are expected to be common leaving HF (Shortwave) radio use unusable (this means only extremely strong signals would be heard, and most of those will have interference). Weak signal listening will be no more and the only long distance alternate radio service to Satellites (namely HF (Shortwave)) will be gone.
It is expected that users of the HF (Shortwave) and lower VHF radio frequencies will experience the highest noise levels, however depending on your location, other radio frequencies in the LF and MF radio spectrum (which includes the AM radio band) may be affected.
BPL has already been rejected!!!
BPL has already been rejected in Japan, Austria and even in some parts of the USA, and the economies of BPL are already been proven to be suspect, yet the Pro-BPL lobby seem never to stop with their spin doctoring and in fact don't seem to care if it causes massive interference to HF (Shortwave) as they view it as "OLD" and "OBSOLETE" technology. After all they have the same mentality as the people who for spurious reasons closed down VNG (Australia's HF (Shortwave) Time Signal Station!!) They fail to realise that HF (Shortwave) is still and will continue to be a viable alternative for long distance radio communications.
BPL is Spin Doctors Heaven
Some Pro-BPL commentators are in fact paid for lobbyists to push the Pro-BPL propaganda case. Endless so called "Independent" reports are issued (This one for example - 1478 Kb pdf) carrying the Pro-BPL party line (the USSR era newspaper "Pravda" would be proud).
The Main Stream media of course lap this up as the very mention of the words of broadband and Internet send them into a feeding frenzy just like a flock of seagulls; after all it's broadband so it must be good, Yeah Right!!! Anyone interviewed on the media is automatically declared an "expert" and his/her every word or credentials are never challenged nor does the media ask simple questions such as who is paying you to be the "expert"!!
Self proclaimed "experts" on BPL magically appear from no where! (Which amazes me since this technology in its current Internet form is quite new to Australia, how can anyone claim to be an expert is beyond comprehension). These "experts", have as much credibility as a "used car" salesman such as issuing worthless reports and actually having the cheek to ask you to pay for their endless reams of paid for Pro BPL propaganda.
The "BPL" debate is not just a question of a technology threatening HF (Shortwave), we are also dealing with a complete ideology! This ideology believes that the Internet (especially broadband) is the future and everybody should have a permanent broadband connection to it, for the greater good of society (sounds like Big Brother to me and dare I say it the New World Order!).
It sees shortwave HF (Shortwave) as ancient and they see BPL putting HF (Shortwave) radio frequencies to better use. Anyone opposing BPL is portrayed as against the progress of technology and against "Broadband for All" statements made by politicians and their spin merchants. However, our argument is not with "Broadband" but HOW it is delivered!!!
Any new technology MUST NOT interfere with HF (Shortwave) reception! HF (Shortwave) Radio is a rare and finite radio resource that cannot be hijacked by the "Internet" industry, it belongs to ALL licensed services that require long distance radio communications. It is not for short term profit for the porn merchants, DVD or software pirates!
According to a report (shown in italics below) from Jim Linton VK3PC in the 22 August 2004 edition of WIA NEWS he has uncovered an interesting, to say the least, development that is extremely disappointing and shows that the electricity industry does not care about HF (Shortwave) nor has it read the ITU regulations in respect of HF (Shortwave) radio reception.
introduction of Broadband Powerline Communications (BPL) in
Australia could be on the condition that "less significant" HF
(Shortwave) radio users such as radio amateurs (Hams) and four
wheel driver clubs would not be protected from any
interference it causes.
The Australian power industry has a real concern about the added expense required to address interference that could affect amateur (Ham) radio stations and other recreational radio users.
Its arguments include that to remove amateur (Ham) radio frequencies from a BPL system will add cost and reduce the capacity and potential data rate.
The power industry is requesting that the Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA) outweigh the concerns of recreational or "less significant" HF (Shortwave) radio users with the higher community benefit of providing greater access to broadband-enabling technology.
The ACMA, in response to the power industry concerns, is now examining the legal possibility of allowing BPL networks to cause substantial interference to "less significant" radio services, while other radio services would continue to be entitled to interference protection.
Presumably if this becomes reality the Amateur Service could lose its protection against harmful powerline interference too. After all, were are in the eyes of some just a "less significant" radio service."
As seen from the above report the "suits " and their "hangers-on" that run these companies appear to have great pleasure in denigrating the recreational aspects of HF (Shortwave) radio and for that matter any use of HF (Shortwave), but fail to realise that these "recreational" services have also been used in emergency and rescue situations many times over. As seen with this link.
Their short sighted view does not reflect the fact that things; can and do go wrong. "What if" scenarios don't even enter their spin doctored minds! The fact they are even contemplating BPL/PLC defies belief! I am sure if someone dies because of "BPL/PLC" interference to HF (Shortwave) radio communications the BPL proponents will blame everyone and everything else, except their stupid decision to approve BPL/PLC deployment in Australia.
If their warped logic continues would "HF (Shortwave) Listening" be considered a recreational pursuit? If so, why don't they also call listening to the AM and FM radio broadcast bands a "recreational pursuit" and push BPL to operate there as well? All radio listeners should move to the Internet they'd say. I am sure all those listeners who listen to AM "Talk" radio at night to interstate stations would like to hear the heavy interference from BPL as their neighbours download via Broadband the latest pirated DVD, CD, or Porn Video.
Why don't these BPL proponents go to a manufacturer of HF (Shortwave) equipment, some of whom have spent millions of dollars on research and development and say to them "Oh sorry we want people to achieve cultural diversity and cross the great digital divide by downloading porn and warez faster via the power lines, your business is now finished, too bad!"
Perhaps these BPL proponents would think again about what they propose to do to the HF (Shortwave) radio frequencies if I said that ALL golf courses that these BPL proponents play at are a waste of space, as all they do is walk from one hole to another, hit a ball with a stick and hope it falls in the hole. At the end of the day they get drunk in the Club House. Golf courses take up too much valuable space. The land could be put to better use for housing and solar energy arrays. The water wasted on lush lawns could be better used for agricultural purposes. I could go on and on!!!
In other words just because a "Recreational Pursuit" is not like yours, and you fail to understand what HF (Shortwave) radio communications is all about, does not mean it is of lesser value and/or be destroyed by the likes of the BPL proponents; the Electricity Barons; or their lackey lobbyists.
It appears also that the BPL proponents are also about restricting free speech and commentary. HF (Shortwave) radio is an ideal way to receive information from many varied sources cheaply. If BPL goes ahead, my right to receive information from International HF (Shortwave) radio broadcasting would be curtailed as the interference from BPL would wipe out any useful HF (Shortwave) radio reception.
HF (Shortwave) gives me a wide cross section of cultures and points of view, available on a simple HF (Shortwave) portable radio. No computer, no credit card, no Internet password or contract and no spam, spyware or viruses required. Not only that, new technologies such as "DRM" Digital Radio Mondiale which was, surprise; surprise, originally developed for International Shortwave broadcasting could be swamped by BPL interference. (See this link) or download this pdf file (30 Kb).
Pro-BPL lobbyists claim you should now listen to radio broadcasts via the Internet rather than HF (Shortwave) in preparation for the BPL take over of the HF (Shortwave) Radio spectrum, yet they still can't seem to comprehend that to listen via HF (Shortwave) you only need one portable receiver (Cost: $AUD150-$300), whereas via the Internet you need a fast computer, a broadband account, appropriate software, modem etc., (Cost: $AUD1500+). Some Internet users in Japan have already realised this and are now returning to listening to HF (Shortwave) Radio Broadcasts. (See this link for further information)
BPL/PLC interference to HF (Shortwave) is not legal according to ITU agreements!
The following links will take you to web sites featuring excerpts from current International Telecommunications Union (ITU) radio regulations. Please visit NASWA, and DXING.COM, as well as references in documents for BPL interference submissions to the FCC in the United States of America.
HF (Shortwave) is Better and Cheaper!
Perhaps some basic lessons for the Pro-BPL lobby are in order! To listen to a HF (Shortwave) broadcast there is only one radio transmitter and many receivers (listeners). To listen via the Internet, you require many transmitters (audio streams) and many receivers (computers)! Guess which one clogs up the Internet with unnecessary bandwidth where as HF (Shortwave) does it better and cheaper as well!!!
The Internet is already so full of Spam, Pirated Software (Warez), Pirated DVD's and CD's, Pornography, and streaming Audio and Video that the Net already slows down to a crawl and a standard e-mail can take longer than a conventional written letter to get to its destination.
To all you Pro-BPL lobbyists out there, what will happen when there is a power failure, what will happen to your beloved BPL then. When the Satellite Network is knocked out by a major power failure, meteor storm or severe solar storm, what will happen when HF (Shortwave) (which would be needed if Satellite services are down) is so full of BPL interference that HF (Shortwave) Communications is unusable.
HF (Shortwave) will always be needed!
HF (Shortwave) will always be needed to get essential world-wide communications back on track quickly in case of a Satellite system failure. The people who propose BPL have no idea about HF (Shortwave), don't care about HF (Shortwave) and think AOR is a piece of Boating Equipment; JRC is a brand of trendy jeans; Kenwood only makes sub-woofers; Icom is yet another mobile phone company; Ten-Tec makes washing machines and Winradio is what you win in a contest!
Many countries and services use HF (Shortwave) Radio because it is cheap and reliable! The cost and infrastructure required is generally much less than land line and/or satellite services. Why would the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) for example be upgrading its HF (Shortwave) domestic service if HF (Shortwave) Radio was "Outdated" as claimed by the BPL/PLC lobby.
Despite a complete lack of publicity (whether this was deliberate, I'll let you decide) for the ACMA's recent "BPL Discussion Paper", over 200 submissions were received with the overwhelming majority rejecting BPL. Submissions were received from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Department of Defence, Federal Police, St John's Ambulance, Air Services Australia, Medical Emergency Services, Optus, Telstra, Wireless Institute of Australia, Model Aircraft Enthusiasts, CB Radio Operators, Outback Four Wheel Drivers, Short-wave Radio Listeners and many individual people concerned about the destruction of the HF Radio Spectrum by Internet users who would use BPL.
Of course in early 2005 in the aftermath of the Tsunami disaster in Asia, HF (Shortwave) showed once again that when the going gets tough, Satellite phones, Mobile Phones and Broadband just could not handle the conditions. Almost immediately Amateur (Ham) Radio operators were providing vital communications links when all other services failed or had been destroyed. One link to check how important HF (Shortwave) Radio Communications is here or here!! Other links include here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here or here!!!
The following is a quote from an e-mail to John Wright of the ARDXC from Victor, an Amateur (Ham) Radio operator in the disaster area of Sri Lanka.
"The situation is
terrible. I feel more than 50,000 may have perished. I am a
Radio Amateur/Ham, the President of the National Organization
of Radio Hams in Sri Lanka. We set up emergency communications
via HF and VHF with 2 teams going into very bad disaster areas
and gave the Sri Lanka's Prime Minister's Office
communications with the coordinating Government Officer, which
had NO communication until we went in to establish HF links.
Our control centre was inside the Prime Minister's Official
house in his operational room. Will show how they valued our
The moment we got a message there was a team to handle the request for Medicine, Doctors and so many things. We will continue until such time as the PM needs our help. After that we will try humanitarian help, like tracing missing people in hospitals and setting up communication centres in disaster areas where there is no land lines working and mobile towers, repeaters are down. Even Satellite phone failed and only HF link was possible. Our batteries were running out and no generators to charge, no electricity, lights etc. in those regions where Telephone exchanges, powerlines and everything for communications was down. Even satellite phone let down. No way to charge batteries was another problem. Just plain uncomplicated Short Wave saved lives. Ham Radio played an important part and will continue to do so. Pray for the People of South and S. East Asia. " Thanks again. Victor.
And here is a report from the 2005 Earthquake zone in Pakistan.
received reports of radio amateurs (Hams) helping in the
relief effort following the devastating earthquake that struck
the Kashmir region of Pakistan in October.
Nasir, AP2NK, president of the Pakistan Amateur Radio Society, said: "It is a terrible situation with destruction over a big area of difficult
mountain terrain. Hams and short wave listeners are helping in the distribution of relief items. More teams are moving into different towns so
that welfare messages can be exchanged as the available telephone network is overloaded."
AP2NK also informed RadCom that radio amateurs (Hams) were working with the official radio network of forest stations to help exchange welfare messages in areas where telephones were not available.
As reported previously in WIA National News (Oct 30) Horey Majumdar, VU2HFR, told how "There has been some ham disaster communication from Pakistan" mainly on 7.100 MHz. He also said that hams from Turkey had entered Pakistan to assist in relief operations. VU2RBI, meanwhile, said that Pakistani hams had been relaying earthquake-related traffic, but admitted that few amateur (Ham) radio stations had at that time been established in the hardest-hit areas, some of which are very remote with difficult access.
The earthquake is estimated to have killed more than 78,000 people, injured another 78,000 and left three million plus, homeless. There are STILL fears that the death toll could rise higher if the homeless are not provided with shelter before the onset of the harsh Pakistani winter.
So what's this got to do with BPL/PLC? Well it's very simple really. If BPL is introduced the "Noise Floor" on a HF (Shortwave) receiver will be so high that weak signal listening will be impossible and anyone outside a disaster area trying to listen and even help would be not be able to do so because of high interference and noise such as this (114 Kb wav). Apparently people downloading Porn and Pirated MP3's via BPL/PLC will have a higher priority than saving lives.
In Australia, HF (Shortwave) is used by Aviation, Military, Long Distance Truck Drivers, various Government Departments, International Broadcasters, the ABC, Maritime Services, Bureau of Meteorology, Emergency Services, Amateur (Ham) Radio Operators, CB Radio Operators, Outback Four Wheel drivers and other services.
HF (Shortwave) also provides employment in Australia to hundreds of people involved in manufacturing, research and development, servicing and supply of HF (Shortwave) related communications equipment. Notable Australian manufacturers include Barrett, Codan, Mobile One, Outbacker, Qmac, Winradio, plus many more companies. Worldwide, thousands of people are employed in HF (Shortwave) related employment!
This Essential Radio Service has the potential to be destroyed overnight.
DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN!!!!!!
Tell other people in the HF (Shortwave) Radio industry what is happening, before it is too late!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ACT NOW before the greedy Power and Media companies and their lackey Lobbyists get their way!!!!!
Look at this site for Officially Listed BPL Trials!!
Aurora Energy in Tasmania tested BPL in Hobart, and has tested around at least 500 homes in Tasmania since August 2005. Heavy interference to HF Radio Communications has been reported. This is what it sounded like!!!! (114 Kb wav) Awwwwwful!!!!! As of November 2007 the Tasmanian BPL system has been closed down, officially because of cost pressures, however un-officially, other reasons are also believed to be involved.
The ACMA has given permission for "Skynetglobal" to setup a BPL system in AUSTRALIA.
Energy Australia, ran a BPL trial in Newcastle, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA.
Country Energy has just completed a BPL trial in Queanbeyan, near Canberra, ACT, AUSTRALIA.
YouTube BPL/PLC interference Video Links here!!!
On-Line BPL Discussion Forums
SIGA (Spectrum Issues Group Australia) follows developments and debate on Broadband Over Power Lines (BPL) / Power Line Communications (PLC),
Why not subscribe today!
This group is focused on BPL (Broadband over Power Lines) and its effects on Amateur (Ham) Radio. It is a Yahoo discussion forum and requires a simple registration process!
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