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Broadband-over-Powerlines Hits Snag

The U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia has agreed with amateur radio operators that the FCC has not adequately considered their concerns about interference from broadband service delivered via powerlines.The decision could delay the effort to improve broadband service to rural and other underserved areas. The FCC has been encouraging development of this so-called "third pipe" (in addition to cable and DSL) since 2004, but had also set rules to avoid interference with public safety, navigation, and amateur radio transmissions. The American Radio Relay League had filed a lawsuit alleging that the rules were insufficient. The appeals court agreed that the FCC's rule-making process was flawed -- for example, the agency redacted portions of scientific studies of interference, and action the court ruled violated federal administrative procedure law.

The court did not support other aspects of the radio operators' challenge. The FCC declined comment.CNET News