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2005 News Releases




More BPL Commercial Trials planned for Tasmania

Date : 18 / 11 / 2005
Author : Phil Wait - VK2DKN

This week the Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA) announced further BPL commercial trials by Aurora energy in Tasmania. The new areas affected are: Burnie, (postcode 7320) and Hobart (postcode 7000). These trials are in addition to the existing commercial trial at Hobart suburbs Mount Nelson and Tolmans Hill, (postcode 7007). The new trials will involve up to 500 users, and the timeframe stated is 9-12 months. The frequency band of operation is stated as 3 � 34MHz, but it remains to be seen what particular frequencies within this range will be activated.

Aurora Energy is using its telecommunication arm, Tastel, to sell and promote the broadband products that will be carried by the BPL technology, including Voice over IP and data services. The success or otherwise of the trial will be judged on the number of subscribers that Tastel can attract. However, reports are that Aurora may be experiencing a number of technical difficulties with their current trial, especially with the Voice over IP phone service.

Justin Giles-Clarke, VK7TW, Phil Thomson, VK7SS, and myself met with Minister Brian Green MHA, his Advisors, and a representative from Aurora early October to ensure the Minister was aware of the interference issues with BPL. Will Hodgman, the Shadow Minister for infrastructure was also visited and brought up-to-date with our concerns.

In other BPL news, the WIA wrote to ACMA in August expressing our concern that ACMA�s own guidelines for Access BPL trials were not being followed by BPL operators. The guidelines are intended to notify licenced radio users of upcoming trials in their area and to provide an interference resolution procedure. We are still awaiting ACMA�s response to that letter.

The WIA is attending a Buddecomm BPL conference next week, along with representatives from the ACMA and BPL proponents, and may hear more about how ACMA intends to manage BPL interference issues.


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