From the ARRL... The FCC has written Cumberland Electric Membership Cooperative of Clarksville, Tennessee, in a case of suspected power-line interference to an Amateur Radio operator. ARRL Lab Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI, has been working with the amateur, Paul Fulk Jr, N8ITF, of Springfield, Tennessee. Fulk first complained to Cumberland two years ago and is still trying to get the situation resolved. The FCC now has put the ball back squarely into the utility's court. A Cumberland official has told ARRL that the utility will fix the problem if it's at fault. In a March 20 letter to Cumberland, Consumer Center Deputy Chief Sharon Bowers of the FCC's Consumer Information Bureau advised the utility to "locate the source of interference caused by its equipment and make necessary corrections within a reasonable time." According to the FCC, after Cumberland's efforts to take care of the interference failed, the utility told Fulk that if he or an ARRL representative could locate the problem, Cumberland would fix it. Bowers, however, told Cumberland that in cases of power-line interference "it is not possible for non-utility company people to safely perform all of the tests necessary to identify the source of the interference." And the FCC reminded Cumberland that Commission rules require the operator of the device radiating interference to locate and eliminate the interference. Fulk first contacted Cumberland Electric Membership Cooperative in the spring of 1999 to complain of RF noise on his C-band television receiver, his 220 and 440 MHz repeaters, and his HF receiver. The utility replaced a distribution transformer and three broken insulators. It also discovered a noisy and poorly grounded cable-TV power supply, and it recommended that Fulk put insulators on his tower guy wires and improve his tower grounding. The RF noise continued. Last spring, Fulk contacted ARRL for assistance. Hare, in turn, contacted the utility--as well as ARRL Tennessee Section Manager O.D. Keaton, WA4GLS. Keaton visited Fulk and reported his own observations to ARRL. Cumberland forwarded a copy of the 1999 site visit, stating that the noise was still present despite the repairs and concluding that "all known electric utility sources of common electrical interference have been detected and corrected." Fulk disagreed and asked the utility to continue its efforts to eliminate the noise. He also asked the FCC for assistance. In its letter to the utility the FCC raised the specter of violations and fines, but for now, the FCC said, it would prefer for the parties to resolve the problem "without FCC intervention." The FCC told Cumberland to advise Fulk within 30 days of the steps it's taking to correct the reported interference. The ARRL Technical Information Service offers additional information on RFI and power-line interference, http://www.ARRL.org/tis/info/rfi-elect.html. Amateurs suffering from interference believed to be emanating from power-generation or transmission facilities may contact Ed Hare, W1RFI, <A HREF="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com .