Why Broadband over Powerline doesn’t work


Listening to FCC go on and on about broadband over powerlines would make you believe it is only a matter of months when we would get our high speed internet over the same cables that power our stereos and cooking ranges. Bill Pechey over at PC World UK breaks down why the technology doesn’t work. For starters, transmission of data is damn difficult because of high levels of interfernce. Some have managed to overcome this problem, but the performance is spotty. Many are simply pumping data at much higher speeds at around 30 MHz frequencies to carry the signals. However, power cables were not designed for this ind of abuse and are not well balanced at higher frequencies. Thus you have leaking signals. The signals escape the cables as radio transmissions and cause interference with a whole slew of radio signals. No wonder those HAM operators are bitching about the technology. There are speed limitations to the BoPL and with ADSL2 and VDSL around the corner, the big question is do we really need to muck around with yet another transport/access network. (More details on BPL and what are the problems, check out this report from NTIA)

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