Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) and the Amateur Radio Service

Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) and the Amateur Radio Service

By: Alaric Hernaez, DW1KWM

Recently a news from a local newspaper, The Inquirer had caught the attention of the Amateur hobbyists. It said that Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) with Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) through its subsidiary Pilipino Telephone Corp. (Piltel) will test a Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) project in Malabon City after August 2009 for two or three months.

The BPL project although can potentially provide cheaper high-speed internet to public and a new cash cow for the country’s biggest power retailer will cause havoc in the Amateur Radio Service as it will cause interference in the HF band.

What is Broadband over Power Lines or BPL?

BPL is a system that is being tested and deployed to provide broadband Internet service via powerlines. Radio energy is coupled onto power lines and is distributed into homes. A device in the home (modem) plugs into a normal wall outlet and typically provides an Ethernet connection to a computer or home network.

BPL is also known in some countries as Power Line Telecom (PLT). It can also be referred to as Broadband Powerline Carrier, or just PLC, although the acronym PLC is more applicable to an older technology that is used for telemetry and control in power systems and is not the same thing. BPL is mainly in testing in the United States and a few foreign countries. A few carriers are actually selling the service to customers. BPL is intended as another residential broadband technology similar to DSL and Cable.

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Principles Of Amateur Radio Net Control

Principles Of Amateur Radio Net Control

Types of Net

Open Net – Stations call each other directly to pass traffic

Directed Net – Stations call only net control directly, go direct only with net control permission

Net Control…

  • must have a commanding signal
  • is in charge of the net
  • activates and assigns resources
  • must keep track of resources
  • assigns tactical calls
  • keeps a good log
  • has a clear speaking voice
  • controls his or her tone of voice
  • has good command of the English language
  • can handle physical and mental stress for long periods
  • can listen and respond in a noisy/chaotic environment
  • has good hearing
  • writes legibly
  • enforces net discipline
  • uses tactical calls
  • uses plain English – no “10” codes or “Q” signals
  • uses standard phonetics
  • performs welfare checks
  • thinks before keying
  • is as concise as possible
  • knows how to operate the radio
  • frequently identifies name and reason for the net
  • transmits only facts, not conjecture
  • takes frequent breaks
  • when transmitting, key up, take a breath, then talk.

The Amateur’s Code

The Amateur’s Code

CONSIDERATE… never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.

LOYAL… offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.

PROGRESSIVE… with knowledge abreast of science, a well-built and efficient station and operation above reproach.

FRIENDLY… slow and patient operating when requested; friendly advice and counsel to the beginner; kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.

BALANCED… radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.

PATRIOTIC… station and skill always ready for service to country and community.