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Manassas and Washington DC

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K3UD, Jun 5, 2004.

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  1. K3UD

    K3UD Guest

    From the ARRL letter:

    The City of Manassas, Virginia, and broadband over power line (BPL)
    franchisee Prospect Street Broadband have parted company, and the city is
    seeking a new business partner. The decision to terminate the joint
    venture was mutual, according to city officials, and the city has acquired
    Prospect Street's interests. Manassas was planning to open bids from
    prospective replacement BPL providers June 7.

    ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, called the failure of the Prospect
    Street-Manassas deal just another example of a BPL deployment decision
    gone awry. He also predicted that BPL would not prove to be the revenue
    generator the city anticipates. Under the franchise agreement, Manassas
    receives 10.5 percent of BPL revenue and is responsible only for the
    relatively small cost of equipment installation. The failure of the
    franchise agreement leaves the city with obligations that far exceed
    revenues, however.

    The first municipally owned utility to offer citywide BPL, Manassas has
    changed the name of its project from the Broadband over Powerline
    Enterprise to the Telecommunications Services Enterprise. City budget
    documents indicate that Manassas is prepared to loan $400,000 to the
    Telecommunications Services Enterprise Fund "to finance operating
    expenses" in Fiscal Year 2005.

    The city's small BPL field trial involved fewer than a dozen homes and
    businesses in an area with underground utility wiring and no nearby
    Amateur Radio licensees. "Results of the eighteen-month pilot program were
    favorable and demonstrated BPL as a viable technology for the delivery of
    data services," the city's bid invitation declares. The city approved
    full-scale BPL deployment last October and started offering the service in
    February. The contract with Prospect Street Broadband apparently was
    terminated several weeks later.

    The city's glowing pro-BPL comments on the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rule
    Making in ET Docket 04-37, filed May 3, neglect to mention the
    cancellation of the Prospect Street agreement.

    The comments also say the city "remains sensitive" to Amateur Radio's
    interference fears. Manassas Utilities Director Allen P. Todd, W4VUB, has
    met with members of the Ole Virginia Hams (OVH) Amateur Radio Club to
    address their concerns, the comments note, and a BPL connection was set up
    in the home of OVH member Bob Zaepfel, K4HJF. The city made a letter from
    Todd describing its efforts to cooperate with local amateurs part of its
    comments to the FCC. That letter says that during informal tests in early
    April, OVH members were "unable to identify any interference in the
    amateur bands being caused by BPL installation." Todd's letter did not
    provide test details.

    The Manassas Journal Messenger reported this week that two neighborhoods
    now are fully equipped for the service, and, to date, 200 customers are
    using the service, although the bid proposal says the city's deployment of
    BPL "passes more than 2000 homes with the fiber infrastructure passing
    more than 4,000 homes, and fiber construction continuing each day."
    Manassas charges $28.95 a month for its BPL service. The city is supposed
    to complete its citywide BPL rollout by this fall. City officials told the
    Journal Messenger that the Prospect Street contract termination will not
    affect BPL delivery.

    Elsewhere, Pepco, a utility serving 700,000 Washington, DC, and Maryland
    customers, and its parent company, Pepco Holdings Inc, have decided to
    forgo any investment in BPL. Pepco continues to operate a BPL field test
    in Potomac, Maryland. The utility is continuing discussions with BPL
    partner Current Technologies and has indicated it's open to proposals to
    lease access to their power lines to deliver broadband service.

    Pepco was said to be less interested in delivering broadband than in
    finding ways to improve its billing systems. A company spokesperson said
    the decision not to invest in BPL applies to all Pepco Holdings Inc
    companies.


    73
    George
    K3UD
     
  2. AB3AX

    AB3AX Ham Member QRZ Page

    All good news. BPL is losing its gloss. NTIA have published comments this week that were submitted to the FCC - they want to impose a further layer of restrictions on the service, and quite onerous interference reduction and mitigation techniques too. They also want power companies to reduce their line noise by 20dB before offering any kind of BPL service. Sounds like lots of $$$

    http://www.gobpl.com/
     
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