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FCC Approves Power Lines For Delivery Of Broadband

The Federal Communications Commission Thursday approved measures aimed at spreading broadband through Access Broadband over Power Line (Access BPL) technology.

The FCC expressed confidence that safeguards are in place or can quickly be developed to address interference from competing technologies including those used by amateur radio operators.

"The technology behind BPL is both fascinating and revolutionary," said FCC Chairman Michael Powell, who has been an outspoken advocate for the technology, in a statement. "Just a few short years ago, critics argued that competition for the 'last mile' would never become a reality because no one could duplicate or bypass the telephone line that ran from the curb into the home."

BPL technology has been rolled out in a few communities in the U.S. and Canada. There have been some scattered complaints of interference particularly from amateur radio operators, but also from some public safety and other governmental users.

The decision by the FCC members was unanimous. Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein has argued that Access BPL systems operate well alongside HF and VHF licensees. "In the limited cases of increased interference, the Access BPL operators were able to quickly resolve and address the interference problem," he stated.

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