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2007 News Releases




BPL Interference - Not a dead parrot yet.

Date : 03 / 09 / 2007
Author : Phil Wait - VK2DKN

Radio amateurs may have the impression that, because there haven't been too many BPL news items lately, that the threat of BPL interference in Australia is receding.

Nothing could be further from the truth, BPL remains a serious threat to amateur radio.

Everybody now knows that BPL interference to radio communications services is a serious problem that must be addressed, not least BPL equipment manufacturers who are striving to find ways to reduce the interference profile of their products.

Because of this, the WIA's focus has shifted from publicising BPL interference to the international Standards arena where decisions concerning permitted BPL interference limits will be made.

Most industralised countries base their EMC limits on international Standards developed by the Comite Internationale Special des Perturbations Radioelectrotechnique (International Special Committee on Radio Interference, IEC) otherwise known as CISPR. A group within CISPR, CISPR 22, determines the limits and measuring methods for radiated emission (through the air) and conducted emission (through the connecting cables) for information technology equipment, such as BPL equipment.

However CISPR22 limits and methods were developed a long time ago, long before BPL and other new communications technologies were thought of, and need to be revisited.

The WIA is a member of several Australian Standards committees having input to CISPR. In particular we are a member of a BPL working group making recommendations on BPL technology Standards.

The WIA's work on Standards committees involves more than just attending meetings. Recently we have taken hundreds of measurements of BPL emissions and co-produced a major report in preparation for an international meeting of CISPR to be held in Sydney this month. We have also measured ambient noise levels in an area we believe is likely to be used for a BPL trial. This vitally important work has taken a considerable amount of time and is the focus of our present activity.

Members will understand that much of the work we are doing in Standards committees, and elsewhere, is confidential and cannot be publicly released at this time. To have influence in these forums, we must abide by their rules and respect confidentiality requirements. The WIA will release as much information as it can to members as soon as is possible.

Phil Wait,


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