A couple days ago I saw an article address the RF energy that is leaked off of power lines when the BPL (Broadband Over Powerline) scheme is used for the "Last Mile" solution to proving ubiquitous Internet - as well as for implementing the Smart Grid.
Now, there are proposals to actually license portions of the spectrum specifically for BPL. It seems to be tantamount to an admission that the leakage cannot be controlled. Do smart grids need special spectrum?
BPL interference has been a concern for Amateur Radio operators, and they have been on the front line in the fight to either prohibit the practice altogether, or to strictly monitor and control it. Even after the initial installation is qualified, equipment degradation and system modifications are not as tightly controlled so the potential for excessive interference is great. Enforcing compliance is typically much more difficult that initial conformance.
Oddly, there was also recently another article that claims since the BPL frequencies are primarily above 30 MHz, the interference with most heavily used Ham bands will not be affected. Supposedly, the author of the article verified that with ARRL HQ. I tried to find the article - probably on one of the engineering websites like EDN. It was just a couple days ago, but I read so much stuff that I can't keep track of it all. If I find it, I'll post the URL.
That statement does not comport with recent chatter on the ARRL website. FCC Continues BPL Debate It Seems To Us: Now We Know
Interesting related article: FCC to Utilities: Don't Look to Hams to Pay for Your Testing
Here is a recent IEEE article on Smart Grid progress Smart Grid Projects Pick Up Speed
- Kirt Blattenberger
RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster