Broadband over Power Lines

An examination of the consequences of broadband over power lines (BPL) systems on radio communication.

Under construction
  • BPL - what is it?
  • Why should I care about it?
  • What to do about it.
  • Submission deadline 28 Nov 2005.
Under construction

Main PageDiscussion PointsIC ProposalSummaryReferences


Access to the Internet, including email and Web services, is becoming an ever more important aspect of modern life. The Government of Canada has an interest[1] in providing its citizens with the means to access the Internet and to do so at speeds above those available through traditional dial-up modems. One cannot disagree with enhanced communications but the means to deliver it needs to be examined carefully. High-speed broadband Internet connectivity to homes is currently provided through DSL/ADSL systems employing phone lines, cable modems that distribute their signals via cable TV lines and to a lesser extent by direct network connections or as part of satellite TV systems. An alternative system called Broadband over Power Lines, BPL for short, is now being proposed.

As the name implies, BPL would use power distribution lines as a network cable. The problem is that power distribution lines and components are not intended or designed to carry high-speed signals efficiently. While it might be possible to build a BPL network, the use of power lines for the distribution of a high-speed signal poses considerable technical difficulties as compared to other high-speed network technologies. The problem for radio users is, however, not the efficiency of BPL systems but rather with the results of the inefficiency - radiation of the BPL signal. BPL systems operating within the currently proposed emission limits will be strong sources of interference throughout their 1.705 to 80 MHz operating frequency range.

This Web site has three objectives:

  • To encourage individual radio users to submit replies to Industry Canada's 2005 Consultation Paper on Broadband over Power Line (BPL) Communication Systems.

  • To provide radio users with the information required to comment on Industry Canada's Consultation Paper. The information provided by Industry Canada, IC, gives some details of the proposed BPL systems, but information on BPL's effect on radio communication is absent.

  • To recommend, as requested in the Consultation Paper, means by which BPL can be made to co-exist with various communication and receiving systems such as those used by amateur radio operators, short wave listeners, GRS (citizens band) users, and others.

Main PageDiscussion PointsIC ProposalSummaryReferences


The opinions expressed on this site are those of Leo Nikkinen, VE2SI
Page created on 12 November 2005