Hams Encouraged by NEW Motorola BPL Technology

Newington, Conn., May 23, 2005–ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio, announced today that “The ARRL is pleased to hear Motorola’s announcement of its Powerline LV system. This is the first Access Broadband over Power Line (BPL) system that has been designed from the start with radio interference concerns in mind.”

Motorola’s Powerline LV system avoids using the medium-voltage (MV) power lines and introduces broadband signals only on the low-voltage (LV) side of the power transformer. This greatly reduces the potential for interference to and from radio users, especially radio amateurs. ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner commented, “We know that medium-voltage (MV) power lines are no place for broadband energy, since there is overwhelming technical evidence that radio interference from BPL is unavoidable if MV lines are used. By confining their Access BPL system to LV lines and by adding hardware notch filters for additional protection to amateur radio frequency allocations, Motorola has addressed our interference concerns.”

While sometimes pictured by BPL proponents as opposing all BPL implementation, the ARRL has always maintained that radio amateur “hams” are not interested in blocking new technology but are justifiably concerned about pollution of the radio spectrum. Significant interference has been documented at numerous sites where other BPL systems are being tested, and other BPL developers have been unwilling to share information about their systems. By contrast, Motorola invited ARRL’s suggestions and welcomed its input during product development.

Sumner concluded, “We look forward to seeing the first Powerline LV system in operation, and to continuing to work with Motorola to ensure that their new product is indeed the first BPL system that is a solution, not a problem.”

There are approximately 670,000 Amateur Radio operators in the United States. Many other countries are watching events unfold in the US as they plan their own BPL systems. There are approximately 2.5 million Amateur Radio operators around the world. If the new Motorola system lives up to its initial promise in actual deployment, this new “shortwave-friendly” system will have many advocates.

Information about Amateur Radio is available from the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio, 225 Main Street Newington, CT 06111 or by calling 1-800-32-NEW HAM. The URL for ARRL’s home page is www.arrl.org.

Information about Motorola’s “Powerline LV” system can be found at: http://www.motorola.com/mediacenter/news/detailpf/0,,5519_5509_23,00.html

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