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FCC Pushes Power Line Broadband Access

Federal regulators continue to promote an alternative to cable and DSL internet access.

The Federal Communication Commission on Thursday reaffirmed rules it issued in 2004 for expanding the rollout of a third alternative for broadband access - broadband over power lines (BPL) - reports CNET. The technology would extend broadband reach to rural and other underserved areas as well as increase competition and so lower consumers' internet access bills, the FCC said.

"It is my hope that our rules will allow BPL systems to flourish," FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said Thursday. Only about 50 BPL systems exist in the U.S., and most are in the developmental or experimental phase.

Amateur radio enthusiasts, TV broadcasters and the aeronautical industry have expressed concerns regarding potential signal interference, but FCC seems to have for the most part set those concerns aside, though it retained limits on equipment emissions and requirements for equipment certification.

Prior coverage:

- FCC: Broadband Subscriptions Surge
- Texas to Get High-Speed Net Access via Power Lines
- Broadband for All and a Chicken in Every Pot
- FCC: DSL, Like Cable, Now an 'Information Service'
- Plug into Wall Outlet, Get Broadband
- Google Invests in Power Line Internet Access

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