FCC Adopts Memorandum Opinion and Order on Broadband Over Power Lines to Promote Broadband Service to all Americans

3 Aug 2006

Washington, DC - As part of its ongoing efforts to promote access to broadband services for all Americans and to encourage new facilities-based broadband platforms, the Federal Communications Commission today generally affirmed its rules for Access Broadband over Power Line (Access BPL) systems while maintaining safeguards against harmful interference to existing radio services. If harmful interference does occur, the Commission will take appropriate action to remedy the situation. Today's decision was adopted in response to a number of petitions for reconsideration of the BPL rules established in October of 2004.

In the Memorandum Opinion and Order (MO&O) adopted today, the Commission again acknowledged the significant benefits of Access BPL, reaffirmed its commitment to address interference issues, and reemphasized that the Part 15 rule changes were made to ensure that Access BPL operations do not become a source of interference to licensed radio services.

Specifically, the MO&O by the Commission:

  • Affirms its rules regarding emission limits for BPL, including its determination that the reduction of emissions to 20 dB below the normal Part 15 emissions limits will constitute adequate interference protection for mobile operations;
  • Denies the request by the amateur radio community to prohibit BPL operations pending further study and to exclude BPL from frequencies used for amateur radio operations;
  • Denies the request by the television industry to exclude BPL from frequencies above 50 MHz;
  • Affirms the July 7, 2006 deadline for requiring certification for any equipment manufactured, imported or installed on BPL systems, with the proviso that uncertified equipment already in inventory can be used for replacing defective units or to supplement equipment on existing systems for one year within areas already in operation;
  • Affirms the requirement that information regarding BPL deployment must be provided in a public database at least 30 days prior to the deployment of that equipment;
  • Adopts changes regarding protection of radio astronomy stations by requiring a new exclusion zone and amending consultation requirements for these stations; and
  • Adopts changes to provide for continuing protection for aeronautical stations that are relocated.
  • Denies the request by the aeronautical industry to exclude BPL operating on lowvoltage lines from frequencies reserved for certain aeronautical operations;
  • Denies the request by the gas and petroleum industry to be considered as public safety entities;

Action by the Commission, August 3, 2006, by Memorandum Opinion and Order (FCC 06-113). Chairman Martin, Commissioners Copps, Adelstein, Tate and McDowell. Separate statements issued by Chairman Martin, Commissioners Copps, Tate, and McDowell.

ET Docket No. 04-37 and 03-104.

Office of Engineering and Technology Contact: Bruce Romano (202) 418-2124; Anh Wride (202) 418-0577.

Filed: Aug 2006, BPL, Co: FCC, Tech: None

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