Submission on in-home powerline device review
The WIA urges action be taken against all in-home powerline telecommunications (PLT) devices that do not comply with the CISPR 22 (International Special Committee on Radio Interference) standard.
Phil Wait - VK2ASD
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is reviewing the regulation for PLT devices that send radio frequency signals over powerlines to enable broadband access including the internet.
The WIA actively participates in the work of spectrum management, consultative standards bodies, and as a member society also contributes its expertise through the International Amateur Radio Union. The WIA has been very active in the PLT arena, both as a member of Australian Standards committee TE 003 and through direct representations to the ACMA and participation in domestic trials.
In a submission it called for the ACMA to continue with the CISPR 22 standard to ensure the protection of existing and future radiocommunication services from radio noise pollution or interference. The ACMA has asked whether it should use an alternative standard (EN50561), but the WIA is against that move describing CISPR as remaining to be the most relevant organisation in the area of the PLT standard. If the ACMA chose to adopt the alternative, the WIA wants it modified for Australian conditions including its compliance test regime, and the notching for protected frequencies be a permanent feature that cannot be removed or deactivated. While notching has greatly reduced interference, currently not all Amateur Radio bands are given that protection.
The WIA wants a warning notice on all PLT devices that state such devices may be responsible for radio interference that needed remedial action including removing the device from use. Suppliers have imported PLT devices that are not compliant with CISPR 22. The WIA believes there should be more effective compliance measures for all imported devices, together with frequent random checks and audits. Harmful interference can disrupt or degrade existing spectrum users, some of a medical nature, but that use will rapidly grow in a few years.
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