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FCC Commissioner's Office Clarifies
'Broadband Nirvana'
Remarks:
from The ARRL Letter, Vol 22, No 45


http://www.arrl.org/ on November 15, 2003

FCC Commissioner's Office Clarifies 'Broadband Nirvana' Remarks:
The office of FCC Commissioner Kathleen Q. Abernathy http://www.fcc.gov/commissioners/abernathy/ has expressed regrets that her remarks in a September speech may have failed to make Abernathy's concerns sufficiently clear about potential interference from Broadband over Power Line (BPL). "We regret that the Commissioner's remarks may have been interpreted as suggesting an absence of concern over harmful interference," said Abernathy Senior Legal Adviser Matthew A. Brill, responding to complaints from the ARRL and individual amateurs. From a policy perspective, Brill said, Abernathy is "keenly interested" in seeing multiple broadband platforms develop, but that she didn't intend to suggest that BPL "necessarily will emerge as a viable platform or that it does not present interference issues." In her speech to the United Powerline Council's http://www.uplc.utc.org/ annual conference September 22, Abernathy expressed unabashed enthusiasm for BPL and suggested it was a step along the pathway to "Broadband Nirvana." Brill noted, however, that near the end of her remarks, Abernathy--referring to the FCC's approach to PCS regulation--said the Commission was "right to adopt strict interference rules to prevent competitors from externalizing their costs. The same principle will apply to BPL." Brill assured the ARRL that "ensuring that BPL and all new technologies avoid causing harmful interference to licensed RF users is a bedrock position for Commissioner Abernathy." He issued similar responses on Abernathy's behalf to several amateurs who had challenged her stance (see "ARRL Rebukes FCC Commissioner's BPL-Related 'Broadband Nirvana' Remarks" http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2003/09/25/100/ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, expressed delight at Abernathy's recent clarification. "Commissioner Abernathy's affirmation of this important principle as a 'bedrock position' is most welcome and reassuring news," he said. From the outset of the FCC's BPL Notice of Inquiry in ET Docket No. 03-104 last April, Sumner said, the League's goal has been to hold the FCC to its statement in the NOI that "each of these authorized services in the spectrum [including the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services] must be protected from harmful interference." "Since that time the presence of harmful interference at BPL test sites has been thoroughly documented," Sumner noted, "confirming that our original concerns were well founded." ARRL's extensive comments, reply comments and technical exhibits are available on the ARRL Web site http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/. There are additional information and video clips on the ARRL "Power Line Communications (PLC) and Amateur Radio" page http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/. More than 5000 comments--many from the Amateur Radio community--have been filed in response to the FCC's BPL NOI and are available for viewing via the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. Source: The ARRL Letter Vol. 22, No. 45 November 14, 2003

 

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