The issues of coexistence and interoperability between HomePlug and Broadband over Power Line (BPL) technologies took on added significance with the late-October approval by the FCC of Part 15 rules changes that the commission contended will “encourage the development” of BPL systems “while safeguarding existing licensed services against harmful interference.”
The commission said it took the steps to increase the availability of broadband to wider areas of the country and, in areas already served by broadband, enhance competition by providing another broadband competitor. BPL will also enable electric utilities to improve power-grid reliability and efficiency, chairman Michael Powell said. Such improvements, he said in a written statement, include “customer and utility control of appliances and equipment energy use; improved load management and electric grid utilization; and such applications as automated meter reading, extension of supervisory control and data acquisition functions to the end user level, outage detection and equipment performance monitoring.”
The ruling, HomePlug said, “resolves the regulatory uncertainty surrounding BPL solutions and opens the door for continued market growth of the technology.”
The commission said its rules include adequate measures to prevent interference with amateur-radio and public-safety users.