The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has cleared the way for power companies to roll out broadband over power line service by approving a set of rules designed to limit interference to other radio frequency devices.
The FCC's action on broadband over power lines (BPL) requires providers to employ devices that can switch frequencies if they cause interference and that can be shut down remotely.
Commissioners also will require a national database of BPL installations.
Commissioner Michael Copps criticised other commissioners for not dealing with issues, including 911 service, access for disabled people and whether electricity customers should subsidise BPL roll-outs in these rules. But he also said he supports the roll-out of BPL as a new option for US consumers.
The FCC rules establish so-called "excluded frequency bands" where BPL cannot operate because of potential interference with aircraft receivers. The rules also establish "exclusion zones" in locations close to sensitive operations such as Coast Guard or radio astronomy stations.
BPL providers must also consult with public safety agencies, aeronautical stations and other potentially affected government groups before rolling out BPL.
Grant Gross writes for IDG News Service
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