With a sense of great pleasure and satisfaction I present this seminar report entitled as ―BROADBAND OVER POWER LINES‖. Completion of this report is no doubt a product of invaluable support and contribution of a number of people. I present my sincere gratitude to Mr. Ajay Sharma (HOD EE Deptt.) & Ms. Damandeep Kour (Lect. EE Department) for providing us timely valuable guidance and suggestions. Both had been very kind and patient while suggesting me the outlines of this seminar report and correcting my doubts. I thank them for their overall support. Last but not the least, I would like to thank my parents who helped me a lot in gathering different information, collecting data and guiding me from time to time in making this report. Despite of my parent‘s busy schedules, they gave me different ideas in making this report unique. Without their valuable support, this would not have been possible.

Akshay Dhar C.R.NO. 377/07 U.R.NO. 725/07



I hereby declare that the seminar report entitled “BROADBAND OVER POWER LINES” is an authentic record of my own work carried out as the partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of degree of B.E (electrical engineering) at M.B.S. College of engineering and technology, Jammu during June - July 2010

Akshay Dhar C.R.NO. 377/07 U.R.NO. 725/07


Certified that the above statement made by the student is correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.

Ms. Damandeep Kour (Lecturer EE Deptt.) Seminar Coordinator

Countersigned by Mr. Ajay Sharma HOD EE Deptt.


and routine logging or even to make adjustments. A SCADA system can save time and money by reducing the need for service personnel to physically visit each site for inspection. In addition to taking advantage of the power line infrastructure. III . data. This Technical report examines the architecture and considers possible benefits and concerns of BPL technology with respect to the National Communications System (NCS) and the communication requirements for NS/EP. A key concern associated with BPL is that coupling of HF signals onto unshielded wiring. dynamic provisioning. and video services. troubleshooting. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) monitors approximately 59.000 frequencies for military. In the United States. One of the largest commercial markets for BPL is the ability to provide Internet Services by means of the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) protocols. increased equipment life. The benefits also include the ability for real-time monitoring. may generate interference signals that could impact licensed services such as amateur radio. There are two predominant types of BPL communications configurations: Access BPL and In-Home BPL. Another significant benefit of BPL is the ability to employ ―intelligent‖ power line networks that make use of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) devices. National Security & Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP). the Red Cross and other agencies also depend on the use of the special propagation properties found only in the HF radio spectrum. this capability has been termed ―Broadband over Power Lines‖ or BPL. Public safety agencies including fire. such as that used for outdoor power lines. and other purposes. and other forms of modernized electrical power networks. and automatic report generating. system modifications. In-Home BPL modems utilize the existing house wiring to provision a Local Area Network (LAN) that can be used throughout the home. Access BPL is comprised of injectors (used to inject High Frequency (HF) signals onto medium or low voltage power lines). police. or ―hums‖. which can support voice.ABSTRACT Over the past few years advances in signal processing technology have enabled the advent of modem chips that are able to overcome the transmission difficulties associated with sending communications signals over electrical power lines. data collection. extractors (used to retrieve these signals) and repeaters (used to regenerate signals to prevent attenuation losses).

Virginia Study ARRL Study IEEE Report on USA Broadband Networking 7. Wi-Max 3.5 NTIA Phase I Study BBC Studies Manassas.4 6.CONTENTS S.1 3. Overview of Grid Structure and Topology .2 3.No 1.6 4.5 3.1 3. 1 2 4 4 5 6 6 11 13 14 15 15 17 18 19 20 21 21 24 26 26 27 28 29 30 32 IV Fiber Technologies Coaxial Cable 3.1 Advantages and Disadvantages of Coaxial cable 3.1.2 3.4.2 3.1 Definitions 5. Introduction Executive Summary Broadband Access Alternatives 3.1. 3.3 Wi-Fi Wi-Max Wi-Fi vs.3 Advantages of DSL Limitations of DSL DSL Variations Page No.1. 2.3 3. 6.4 Wireless 3.4.2 6. Satellite Comparative Analysis of Access Alternatives What is Broadband over Power Line (BPL)? 4.4.3 6. History of Communications over Electric Lines BPL Studies 6.3.1 6.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) 3.

11.1 12.4 12. BPL Deployment Options How BPL Works Industry Structure – Key Enabling Partners Impetus for BPL as an Access Technology 11.3 12. 10.8.3 Potential Benefits Homeland Security and Network Benefits Consumer Benefits 37 38 42 44 44 46 46 12.1 11.2 12. 9.2 11. Conclusion BIBILIOGRAPHY V .5 12. Implementation Challenges 12.6 Power Line Noise RF Noise Issues Electromagnetic Interference Interference-Free BPL Security Issues Channel Attenuation 47 47 48 48 49 50 51 52 13.

6. 3. 8.No Fig.No. 7(c) 8(a) 9(a) 9(b) 9(c) 10(a) 12(a) A typical BPL Architecture BPL Deployment Options An Overview of BPL System An Overview of Power Line System A BPL MODEM Industry Structure – Key Enabling Partners BPL in 800 MHz . Name of Figure Page No. 4. Power Grid Hierarchy 34 36 37 38 40 41 43 50 11. 1.LIST OF FIGURES S. 17. 14. 3(d) 3(e) 3(f) 3(g) 7(a) Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC) Network A Wi-Fi Network How WiMax works Broadband via Satellite Basic Architecture of Power Generation & Distribution 33 10. 2.10 GHz range VI . 1(a) 3(a) 3(b) 3(c) BPL Electromagnetic Model Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Network A Fiber Optic Cable Diagrammatic difference b/w a Co-axial & an Optical Fiber Cable 1 5 11 12 13 15 17 19 5. 7(b) From Generation to consumption. 15. 7. 9. 12. 16. 13.

16) Radio Links 18 4. 1. V Comparison of Various Access Technologies 20 VII . Name of Table Page No.11 WLAN Radio Link Interfaces & Highlights 10 16 3. III Summary of Wi-Max (802. 2.No Table No. I II DSL Technologies Comparison IEEE 802. IV Comparison of Wi-Fi & Wi-Max Technologies 18 5.LIST OF TABLES S.

with repeaters placed every mile along the transmission path. AccessBPL is considered a viable alternative to Cable or DSL to provide the 'final mile' of broadband to end users. Home Plug (Home plug. Figure 1(a):BPL Electromagnetic Model 1 . Other computers in the building can then connect to the network simply by attaching their computer's network card to an adapter (e.CHAPTER 1. a BPL wireless device can deliver the broadband to home-installed BPL wireless receivers. There are two main categories of BPL: in-house and access.g. Products conforming to the Home Plug standard have been commercially available since 2002. also known as Power Line Communications (PLC) is achieved by superimposing the voice or data signals onto the line carrier signal using Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing. an adapter which connects an existing router (which accepts the in-coming broadband from Cable or DSL) to the electric lines of the house. Linksys PLUSB10) plugged into a wall outlet. In-house BPL is broadband access within a building or structure using the electric lines of the structure to provide the network infrastructure. BPL. 2005). 2005) is an alliance of several vendors of in-house BPL products which has authored a standard for device compliance. Access BPL is the use of the electrical transmission lines to deliver broadband to the home. Broadband signals traverse the medium voltage power lines. or. bypassing transformers. A BPL coupler placed at the pole converts the transmission medium from fiber (originating at the substation) to medium voltage power lines. Linksys offers the PLEBR10 (Linksys. INTRODUCTION Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) is a term used to describe the use of existing electrical lines to provide the medium for a high speed communications network. For example. the signal can be sent to the individual homes via the lowvoltage electrical lines and made available through any BPL wired receiver. At the final pole.

the BPL developers could partner with power companies and Internet service providers to bring broadband to everyone with access to electricity. Executive Summary Despite the spread of broadband technology in the last few years. However. is too great. Anywhere there is electricity there could be broadband. the incremental expenditures of laying cable and building the necessary infrastructure to provide DSL or cable in many areas. As of October 2004. developers have created a way to send data over power lines and into homes at speeds between 500 kilobits and 3 megabits per second (equivalent to DSL and cable). These could also become a part of an integrated BPL system. Technology to deliver highspeed data over the existing electric power delivery network is closer to reality in the marketplace. Broadband overPower line is positioned to offer an alternative means of providing high-speed internet access. The FCC ruling on October 14.5 for comparison of access technologies). there would be no need to build a new infrastructure. Fiber and advanced wireless broadband are the new alternative broadband access systems that are most likely to emerge in the next few years. By modifying the current power grids with specialized equipment. The FCC and others have hailed BPL as a potential ―third wire‖ that may help increase the availability and affordability of broadband services in a market dominated by digital subscriber line (DSL) and cable modem service. 2004 would essentially help to overcome BPL‘s potential to cause interference with radio and telecommunications signals. (See Table 3. the FCC issued a change to Part 15 rules for measures to mitigate radio interference caused by broadband over power line. The technology evolution in the next few years is important from a perspective of future competitive position of BPL as new networks are built and alternative technologies emerge. But if broadband could be served through power lines.CHAPTER 2. especially rural. Federal policy support is also strengthening the potential for BPL deployment. are the broadband services offered via BPL considered an information service or a telecommunications service? This has implications since telecommunications services are subject to regulations under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). When weighed against the relatively small number of customers Internet providers would gain. most notably common carrier requirements. using medium – and low – voltage lines to reach customers‘ homes and businesses. As part of the federal effort to remove barriers to BPL implementation. wireless networking. a number of jurisdictional and classification issues remain open. and modems. the FCC has two proceedings that address the issue of broadband regulatory classification: one deal with 2 . By combining the technological principles of radio. For example. and other broadband services. there are significant areas of theworld that don't have access to high-speed Internet.

bundled services and average revenue per user. However. and core utility network communications help make the business model attractive for BPL. The factors to evaluate are cost. market size and price.cable modem services and another addressing all wire line broadband Internet access services generally.the utility builds and owns the infrastructure. The electric utilities will determine if the combined benefits of a system allowing for consumer telecom services. The market trials and commercial deployments will reveal business case attractiveness of BPL compared to established DSL and cable services. affiliate transaction policies and cross subsidization issues are major concerns. including serving as theInternet service provider Each utility will assess BPL according to its own business objectives. with several now evaluating deployment of BPL. BPL service would be free frommany if not all common carrier regulations except. risk tolerance. For instance. andprocedures. If classified as an information services. Thus several solutions such as creation of unregulated BPL subsidiaries or implementation of accounting rules that guard against cross subsidization may be considered. there is also interest in BPL‘s potential to serve as a communications system that can support the network management of the power delivery system. In addition. other consumer services. and the ISP handles all aspects of marketing. selling to and servicing the customer  The Service Provider Model– utility manages the system. Pole attachment rules may also need to be addressed because of potential interference problems. Reliability and safety of the power delivery system and provision of quality service are the main concerns for state commissions. contribution to the universal service fund (USF). The technical feasibility. 3 . State Commissions are obligated to prevent the unfair use of an asset developed with ratepayer funds for the benefit of shareholders. probably with amaintenance arrangement  The Developer Model– a partnership or contract with an Internet service provider (ISP). some municipalities may seek to charge fees for BPL rights of way. The state regulators will also need to address rights of way. differentiating features of BPL. and access to poles issues. They are also obligated to ensure that electric utilities do not have an unfair advantage over competitors. and the utility applications. Utilities can consider applying three basic simplified business case models:  The Landlord Model – leasing the conduit and assets to a third party. the FCC rulemaking mitigating interference and the announcements of the commercial-scale tests of BPL have stimulated considerable interest in BPL among electric utilities.

DSL implementations may create bridged or routed networks. the group of subscriber computers effectively connects into a single subnet. telephones and other equipment can carry. In most cases.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) . Voice signals use only a fraction of the available capacity on the wires. A standard telephone installation in the India consists of a pair of copper wires. DSL exploits this remaining capacity to carry information on the wire without affecting the line‘s ability to carry voice conversations. the wires themselves have the potential to handle frequencies of up to several million Hertz. Many DSL technologies implement an Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) layer over the low-level bit stream layer to enable the adaptation of a number of different technologies over the same link. Modern equipment that sends digital (rather than analog) data can safely use much more of the telephone line‘s capacity. can be carried in a frequency range of 400 to 3.CHAPTER 3. network architectures and transmission methods. The most significant broadband technologies include:  Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)  Fiber Technologies  Coaxial Cable  Wireless  BPL (Broadband Over Power Lines) The following is a brief description of each of the above referenced access technology. and DSL does just that. Human voices. Broadband Access Alternatives Broadband access and services are delivered using a variety of technologies. In a bridged configuration. 4 . 3. Standard phone service limits the frequencies that the switches. This pair of copper wires has sufficient bandwidth for carrying both data and voice.Broadband over faster copper DSL is a very high-speed connection to Internet that uses the same wires as a regular telephone line. speaking in normal conversational tones.400 Hertz (cycles per second).

 Does not necessarily require new wiring. the existing phone line can be used. 56 Kbps).1 Advantages of DSL  Simultaneous use.Figure 3(a):Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Network 3.5 Mbps vs.  Providers generally include modem as part of the installation. 5 .1. Phone line can be used for voice calls and the Internet connection at the same time  A much higher speed when compared to regular modem (1.

operating at fixed rate of 144 Kbps in both directions. but it requires two lines that are separate from your normal phone line. but the actual speed gain is typically only 16 Kbps (ISDN runs at 128 Kbps). typically based on the service (price) level. Multi-Rate Symmetric DSL (MSDSL):This is Symmetric DSL that is capable of more than one transfer rate. closer the better  Receiving data is faster than sending data over the internet  DSL is not available everywhere 3. or download. 2. is used to discuss DSL in general.5 Mbps). Often the term xDSL. ISDL is slower than most other forms of DSL. High bit-rate DSL (HDSL):Providing transfer rates comparable to a T1 line (about 1. Asymmetric DSL (ADSL): It is called ―asymmetric‖ because the download speed is greater than the upload speed. ISDN DSL (ISDL):Geared primarily toward existing users of Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). 3.1. 6 . where x is a variable.2 Limitations of DSL  The quality of connection depends upon the proximity to the provider‘s central  Office. The advantage for ISDL customers is that they can use their existing equipment. 5. or upload. HDSL receives and sends data at the same speed. ADSL works this way because most Internet users look at.3. much more information than they send. 1.3 DSL Variations There are several variations of DSL technology. Rate Adaptive DSL (RADSL): This is a popular variation of ADSL that allows the modem to adjust the speed of the connection depending on the length and quality of the line. The transfer rate is set by the service provider.1. 4.

Precisely how much benefit a user will see depends on how far the user is from the central office of the company providing the ADSL service.820 meters).Very high bit-rate DSL (VDSL):An extremely fast connection. 7. These loading coils are incompatible with ADSL signals. ADSL is a distance-sensitive technology: As theconnection‘s length increases. if the connection speed from the Internet to the user is three to four times faster than the connectionfrom the user back to the Internet. this version receives and sends data at the same speed. In practice. Under this assumption. with upstream speeds varying between 64 and 640Kbps.000 feet (5. Voice-over DSL (VoDSL): A type of IP Telephony. so a voice coil in the loop between a telephone and the telephone company‘s central office will disqualify a user from receiving ADSL. whilecustomers nearer the central office have faster connections and may see extremely high speeds in the future. At the extremes of thedistance limits.Distance is a limitation for DSL but not for voice telephone calls. but only works over a short distance using standard copper phone wiring. then the user will see the most benefit (most of the time). While SDSL also requires a separate line from your phone. the best speeds widely offered today are 1. ADSL customers may see speeds far below the promised maximums.The limit for ADSL service is 18. ADSL divides up the available frequencies in a line on the assumption that most Internet users look at.460 meters). VoDSL allows multiple phone lines to be combined into a single phone line that also includes data-transmission capabilities. or upload. ADSL technology can provide maximum downstream (Internet to customer) speeds ofup to 8 megabits per second (Mbps) at a distance of about 6.5 Mbps downstream. Most homes and small business users are connected to an asymmetric DSL (ADSL) line. the signal quality decreases and the connection speed goes down. 8. and upstream speeds of up to 640 kilobits per second (Kbps).Symmetric DSL (SDSL): Like HDSL.000 feet (1. much more information than they send. it uses only a single line instead of the two used by HDSL. though for speed and quality of servicemany ADSL providers place a lower limit on the distances for the service.6. This is because the voice signals are boosted (amplified) with small amplifiers called loading coils. Other factors that might disqualify a user from receiving ADSL include: 7 . or download. VDSL is asymmetric.

looking at a map is no indication of the distance a signal must travel between your house and the office.Bridge taps. That is much faster than ADSL.These are extensions. ADSL uses two pieces of equipment. as well as provide additional functions such as routingand dynamic IP address assignment for customers. Fiber-optic cables. which may also provide other services. but the devices used by businesses may combine network routers. The transceiver can connect to a customer‘s equipment in several ways. VDSL (defined above) is seen by many as the next step in providing a complete home communications/ entertainment package. high-capacity connection to the Internet. Distance. network switches or other networking equipment in the same box. between the user and the central office. one on the customer end and one at the provider end:  At the customer‘s location. but there are a couple of distinctions.  The DSL service provider has a DSL Access Multiplexer (DSLAM) to receive customerconnections. While the users would not notice these bridge taps in normal phone service. VDSL operates over the copper wires in much the same way that ADSL does. that offer VDSL service in selected areas. West (part of Qwest now). that extend service toother customers. A DSLAM takes connections from many customers and aggregates them onto asingle. Most residential customers call their DSL transceiver a DSL modem. The engineers at the telephone company or ISP call it an ATU-R. as high as 52 Mbps downstream and 16 Mbps upstream. Most of the ADSL transceivers sold by ISPs and telephone companies are simply transceivers. DSLAMs are generally flexible and able to support multiple types of DSL. there is a DSL transceiver. VDSL can achieve incredible speeds. There are already some companies.ADSL signals cannot pass through the conversion from analog to digital andback to analog that occurs if a portion of a telephone circuit comes through fiber-optic cables. Regardless of what it is called. which provides up to 8 Mbps downstream and 800 Kbps (kilobits per second) upstream.S. 8 . which stands for ADSL Transceiver Unit Remote. though most residential installations use Universal Serial Bus (USB) or 10BaseT Ethernet connections. such as U. they may take the total length of the circuit beyond the distance limits of the service provider.Even if you know where your central office is (don‘t be surprised if you don‘t—the telephone companies don‘t advertise their locations). The DSLAM at the access provider is the equipment that makes DSLhappen. the transceiver is the point where data from the user‘s computer or network is connected to the DSL line.

the VDSL gateway converts the signal from the fiber-optic cable and sends it to thetransceiver. supports VDSL using a carrier system called Discrete MultiTone (DMT).200 m). Texas Instruments and others. Instead of installing fiber-optic cablealong each street. about 4.However. it must first be standardized. which means that they will replace all existing copper lines right up to the point where a phone line branches off to a house. Their proposed standardsuse carrier technologies that are incompatible with one another.While. The following Table (I) lists the DSL variations and how they compare to each other.The other VDSL group is called the VDSL Coalition. the distance limitation is overcome. VDSL‘s is distance sensitive. theCoalition proposes a carrier system that uses a pair of technologies called Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) and Carrier less Amplitude Phase (CAP). Led by Lucent and Broadcom. the key to VDSL is that the telephone companies are replacing many of their main feeds with fiber-optic cable. 9 . most companies expect to implement Fiber to the Neighborhood (FTTN). However. It can only operate over the copper line for a short distance.000 feet (1.Compared to a maximum speed of 8 to 10 Mbps for ADSL or cable modem. FTTN has fiber going to the main junction box for a particular neighborhood. where thedata is routed to the appropriate network to reach its final destination. a partnership between Alcatel. According to equipment manufacturers. many phone companies are planning Fiber to the Curb (FTTC). for it to become widely available. VDSL provides a significant performance boost over any other version. The VDSL Alliance. most of the ADSL equipment installed today uses DMT. The gateway takes care of the analog-digital-analog conversion problem that disables ADSL over fiber-optic lines. In fact. At the least. When data is sent back tothe computer.There are two competing consortiums pushing to standardize VDSL.By placing a VDSL transceiver in a home and a VDSL gateway in the junction box. It converts the data received from the transceiver into pulses of light that can be transmitted over the fiber-optic system to the central office. it is clear that themove from current broadband technology to VDSL could be as significant as the migration from a 56K modem to broadband.

TableI: DSL Technologies Comparison 10 .

As of May 2004. carriers have deployed FTTH technology to 128 communities in 32 states. These loops are referred to as fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) loops. Companies plan to deploy FTTH further 11 Figure 3(b):A Fiber Optic Cable . and active or powered nodes are used to manage signal distribution. Also. In this type of network. This technology allows multiple homes to share a passive fiber network. Wav7 Optics provides a FTTH system today using that commercially delivers available equipment transmission speeds up to 500 Mbps shared over a maximum of 16 subscribers. and hybrid PONs. the equipment costs for FTTH have decreased significantly. For example. Although FTTH technology is still in its infancy. This system can also provide up to 500 Mbps symmetrically to one subscriber if desired. FTTH technology offers substantially more capacity than any copper-based technology. The speed an actual user will experience depends upon the time of day and the number of users online. The most common architecture used is Passive Optical Network (PON) technology.3. which are a combination of home run and PON architecture. carriers have begun constructing entirely fiber optic cable transmission facilities that run from a distribution frame (or its equivalent) in an incumbent local exchange carriers (ILEC‘s) central office to the loop demarcation point at an end-user customer premise. A typical FTTH system can deliver up to 870 MHz of cable television video services (for high definition television) or IP video services along with multiple telephone lines and current and next-generation data services at speeds in excess of 100 Mbps. the deployment of FTTH is growing significantly.2 Fiber Technologies In recent years. There are three basic types of architectures being used to provide FTTH. the plant between the customer premises and the head-end at the central office consists entirely of passive components – no electronics are needed in the field. in which subscribers have a dedicated fiber strand. The other architectures being used are Home Run Fiber or Point-to-Point Fiber.

FTTC technologies permit carriers to provide highspeed data in addition to high definition video the future. Because of the limited use of copper. In addition to FTTH technologies. Competitive carriers are also building FTTH facilities. some carriers are constructing fiber-to-the-curb (FTTC) facilities that do not run all the way to the home. Figure 1(c):Diagrammatic difference b/w a Coaxial & an Optical Fiber Cable 12 . but run to a pedestal located within 500 feet of the subscriber premises. Copper lines are then used for the connection between the pedestal and the network interface device at the customer‘s premises.

Cable modems allow subscribers to access highspeed data services over cable systems that are generally designed with hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) architecture. The coaxial cable used to carry cable television can carry hundreds of megahertz of signals and therefore. signals from the various channels are each given a 6-MHz slice of the cable‘s available bandwidth and then sent down the cable to your house. In a cable TV system.Following is a look at how a cable modem works and how 100 cable television channels and websites can flow over a single coaxial cable. Then the fiber is terminated and the signals move onto coaxial cable 13 .Many people who have cable TV can now get a high-speed connection to the Internet from their cable provider. Many people get their TV signal from cable television (CATV) because cable TV provides better reception and more channels.3 Coaxial Cable For millions of people. entertainment and educational programs into their homes. In other systems. fiber-optic cable goes from the cable company to different neighborhoods or areas. a large number of channels. television brings news. coaxial cable is the only medium used for distributing signals. Cable modem service is primarily residential.3. In some systems. but may also include some small business service. Cable modems compete with technologies like Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Figure 3(d):Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC) Network Lines (ADSL).

On the cable. The cable company can resolve this particular performance issue by adding a new channel and splitting the base of users. A digital CATV system is designed to provide digital signals at a particular quality to customer households. and provides the proper signal strength for accurate transmission. in times of heavy usage with many connected users.1 Advantages and Disadvantages of Coaxial cable If you are one of the first users to connect to the Internet through a particular cable channel. requires even less of the cable‘s bandwidth. is as new users. the data looks just like a TV channel. information sent from an individual back to the Internet. The cable industry expects that industry-wide facilities upgrades enabling the provision of broadband Internet access to residential customers will be completed in the near future. unlike ADSL. especially heavy-access users. When a cable company offers Internet access over the cable.3. The disadvantage of coaxial cable however. It is possible that. security and management of Internet access over cable television is put into place. you will have to share that bandwidth. On the upstream side. since the assumption is that most people download far more information than they upload. all the computer networking. Upstream data. 14 . Internet information can use thesame cables because the cable modem system puts downstream datadata sent from the Internet to an individual computer into a 6-MHz channel. 3. So Internet downstream data takes up the same amount of cable space as any single channel of programming. are connected to the channel. Between these two types of equipment. performance will be far below the theoretical maximums. Putting both upstream and downstream data on the cable television system requires two types of equipment: a Cable Modem on the customer end and a Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) at the cable provider‘s end.for distribution to individual houses.Another benefit of the cable modem for Internet access is that. just 2 MHz. its performance does not depend on distance from the central cable office. the burst modulator in cable modems is programmed with the distance from the headend. then you may have nearly the entire bandwidth of the channel available for your use. and may see your performance degrade as a result. Cable industry has extended the broadband services offering to at least 90 percent of homes passed by cable systems.

short for Wireless Fidelity.11 wireless LAN standards describe four radio link interfaces that operate in the 2. mobile devices must be within approximately 300 feet of a base station. coverage radius is in the range of 300-500 feet.4.The Wi-Fi technology features a creation of a ―wireless cloud‖ that covers a hot-spot area.4 GHz or 5 GHz unlicensed radio bands. Wi-Fi enabled wireless devices.11b has the most popular appeal due to the low number of technical problems and lower hardware costs. The bandwidth is shared among multiple users. Typically.3. is a term that is used generically to refer to any product or service using the 802.4 Wireless 3. Networks of hot-spots consisting of many access points have been constructed to cover larger areas such as airports.4 and 5 GHz radio bands and provide multiple data rates up to a maximum of 54 Mbps.1 Wi-Fi Wi-Fi. Environmental conditions. The specific dimensions of the coverage area vary based on environmental and power specifications of the equipment in use. Wi-Fi networks operate on an unlicensed basis in the 2. such as laptop computers or personal digital assistants (PDAs).11 series standards developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for wireless local area network connections. 802. can affect the ability to reach target customers. can send and receive data from any location within signal reach of a Wi-Fi equipped base station or access point (AP). It is the only standard with widespread popularity and focused on residential users.Of all the different Wireless LAN interfaces.Typically. Figure 3(e):A Wi-Fi Network 15 . The IEEE 802. With the expansion of Wi-Fi access to the Internet there has been a rapid growth of hotspots. like weather & line of site.

11 WLAN Radio Link Interfaces & Highlights 16 . IEEE 802.Table II.

e. Internationally. While Wi-Fi dominates in the local area. Figure 3(f): How WiMax works 17 . The real competition to cellular data services may come from emerging dataoriented technology.The cellular carriers got into this market first with their 2. will offer data rates between 512 Kbps and 1 Mbps. WiMax systems could support users at ranges up to 30 miles and is intended as the basis of a carrier service.16 and shares some of the same technology.WiMax.16 standards. WiMax based broadband wireless access (BWA) or. short for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. The idea behind BWA is to provide a fixed location wireless Internet access service to compete with cable modems and DSL. indoor. but they were positioned to offer essentially add-on to voice service. WiMax.3.11 or Wi-Fi standards have been quite successful. The key will be to deliver low-cost. user installable premises devices that will not have to be aligned with the base station i. WiMax includes fixed systems employing a point-to-multipoint architecture operating between 2GHz and 66 GHz.. refers to any broadband wireless access network based on the IEEE 802. WiMax is designed to deliver a metro area broadband wireless access (BWA) service.5G/3G data services.2 WiMax Wireless Local Area Networks (LANs) based on the IEEE 802. and therefore the focus in wireless is moving towards the wide area. a European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) initiative called HIPERMAN addresses the same area as WiMax/802. also known as wireless DSL.4. the wide area market is still very much open. the antenna in the premises equipment would be integrated with the radio modem.

While Wi-Fi supports transmission ranges up to a few hundred feet. is designed to deliver a metro area broadband wireless access (BWA) service. WiMax. Besides the difference in transmission range. on the other hand. Summary of Wi-Max (802. WiMax systems could support users at ranges up to 30 miles. While Wi-Fi is targeted at the end user. WiMax is intended as the basis of a carrier service. Table (IV) presents a comparison of Wi-Fi and WiMax Technologies: Table IV.4.16) Radio Links 3.3 Wi-Fi vs. Comparison of Wi-Fi & Wi-Max Technologies 18 . Wi-Fi is a local network technology designed to add mobility to private wired LANs. Wi-Max Wi-Fi and WiMax represent wireless applications from two completely different perspectives. there are a number of improvements in the radio link technology that separate WiMax from Wi-Fi.Table III. The idea behind BWA is to provide a fixed location wireless Internet access service to compete with cable modems and DSL.

trees and heavy rains can affect reception of the Internet signals. which means that a maximum of 5. The key installation planning requirement is a clear view to the south. 19 . but instead uses a satellite dish for two way (upload and download) data communications. two modems (uplink and downlink). since the orbiting satellites are over the equator area. Usual dialupland-based terrestrial systems have bandwidth limitations that prevent multicasting of this magnitude. Satellite Internet does not use telephone lines or cable systems. The satellite data downlink is just like the usual terrestrial link. And. except the satellite transmits the data to your computer via the same dish that would allow you to receive a Pay-Per-View television program.3.5 Satellite Satellite Internet access is ideal for rural Internet users who want broadband access. and coaxial cables between dish and modem. Cable and DSL have higher download speeds. Upload speed is about one-tenth of the 500kbps download speed. Two-way satellite Internet uses Figure 3(g):Broadband via Satellite Internet Protocol (IP) multicasting technology. IP multicasting sends data from one point to many points (at the same time) in a compressed format. like satellite TV.000 channels of communication can simultaneously be served by a single satellite. Two-way satellite Internet consists of approximately a two-foot by three-foot dish. Compression reduces the size of the data and the bandwidth. but satellite systems are about 10 times faster than a normal modem.

6 Comparative Analysis of Access Alternatives The use of fast Internet connections has grown rapidly over the last few years. they still are not fast enough to support the integration of home services such as digital television and Video-On-Demand. Coaxial Cable (Cable Modems) and Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) dominate the industry. As more people buy home computers and create home networks. While both of these technologies provide Internet connections that are many times faster than a 56K modem. Table V Comparison of Various Access Technologies 20 . Currently. the demand for broadband connections steadily increases.3.

is not a major policy concern for the FCC. (You also may see afourth wire that is the ground wire. On April 23.1 Definitions Broadband over Power Line (BPL) is a technology that allows voice and Internet data to be transmitted over utility power lines. subscribers use neither a phone. expressing enthusiasm aboutthe potential of the BPL technology to enable electric power lines to function as a third wire intothe home. Access BPL: -It is a technology that provides broadband access over medium voltage power lines. 21 . B and C). and 2) In-house BPL.CHAPTER 4. because the products connect directly with thelow voltage electric lines inside your home or office. the FCC adopted a Notice of Inquiry (Inquiry). The FCC chose to use the term ―broadband over power line‖ for consumer applications. each carrying several thousand volts.Medium voltage power lines are the electric lines that you see at the top of electric utility polesbeside the roadways in areas that do not have underground electric service. a subscriber installs a modem that plugs into an ordinary wall outlet and pays a subscription fee similar to those paid for other types of Internet service. 2003. Instead. and create competition with the copper telephone line and cable television coaxialcable line.In order to make use of BPL. In-home networking.What the FCC is really wrestling with is how to get broadband Internet access over ―the lastmile‖ to the home.) In-house BPL: -Itis a home networking technology that uses the transmission standards developedby the HomePlug Alliance 5. two or even three phases can be joinedtogether to power the big electric motors in an industrial or commercial area. What is Broadband over Power Line (BPL)? 4. while exciting and innovative. In-house BPL products can comply relatively easily with the radiated emissions limits in Part 156 of the FCC‘s Rules. Many people use the terms PLC and BPL interchangeably. BPL is also sometimes called Power-line Communications or PLC. Both the Inquiry and NPRM discusses two types of BPL: 1) Access BPL. The Commission subsequently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) inFebruary 2004 based on the comments received in response to the Inquiry. One phase isusually enough to power the houses on a residential street. cable nor a satellite connection. Typically there arethree electric lines (called phases A.

much like cable and DSL modems use silicon chips designed to send signals over cable and telephone lines.or interconnectivity of the physical medium beyond that imposed by a single segment. for example. BPL extractors are usually located at each LV distribution transformer feeding a group of homes. Advances in processing power have enabled new BPL modem chips to overcome difficulties in sending communications signals over the electric power lines. Concentrator/Injector: -It is a device that aggregates the end-user CPE data onto the MV (medium voltage) grid. Injectors are tied to the Internet backbone via fiber of T1 lines and interface to the MV power lines feeding the BPL service area. without directly connecting to the line. For residential broadband service customers who get cable modem service. topology. Inductive couplers: -They are used to connect BPL modems to the medium voltage power lines. because the transformer that lowers the electric power from several thousand volts down to 220/110 is a potential barrier to the broadband signal. Extractors: -It provides the interface between the MV power lines carrying BPL signals and the households within the service area. the drop wire connecting the interface on a house to cable company‘s network and the wire from the interface connecting to the wall plates in the home would all be part of the last mile.It is a device that acts as an interface between two networks and provides network management functions. BPL modems: . Router: .They use silicon chips designed to send signals over electric power lines.It is a physical-layer hardware device used on a network to extend the length. such as homes and business. Repeater: . to high-speed services and the Internet. A major challenge is how to deliver the signal from the medium voltage line to the low voltage line that enters your house. An inductive coupler transfers the communications signal onto the power line by wrapping around the line.The Last Mile: -It is the portion of the network that connects end users. 22 .

using different approaches and architecture. Co-Op:. including BPL modems. When BPL modems are installed on underground electric lines. the communications signal is shielded by the conduit and the earth and as a result is unlikely to cause interference to other communications services. Munis: -These are municipally owned utilities that use the revenues from electricity sales toward operation of the system and the improvement of services to the community. Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs):. a term used to describe systems that intentionally conduct signals over electrical wiring or power lines.They are governed by a board of directors elected by stock holders.Carrier-Current System: -There are a number of types of BPL systems. All electronic devices sold in the U. IOUs exist to make a profit for their stock holders while serving the public. They answer to the community and do not have to pay a dividend to shareholders. All are ―Carrier-Current‖ systems. Part 15 of the FCC’s Rules: -It governs interference issues between unlicensed devices.It is a third type of utility that is also known as electric membership corporations or cooperatives. overhead medium voltagepower lines. and other electronic devices. 23 . The FCC is more concerned about the interference potential of BPL signals transmitted on exposed.S. which are consumer-owned electric systems with customers primarily in rural areas. An elected board of directors governs co-ops. have to meet FCC radio frequency (RF) emissions limits.

Radio Shack sells a Home Automation System (Radio Shack.The Last Mile is the portion of the network that connects end users. for example. much like cable and DSL modems use silicon chips designed to send signals over cable and telephone lines. On a smaller scale. An inductive coupler transfers the communications signal onto the power line by wrapping around the line. Modulation techniques vary for traditional PLC. the drop wire connecting the interface on a house to cable company‘s network and the wire from the interface connecting to the wall plates in the home would all be part of the last mile. Traditionally. These historical uses of power-line communication typically operated at low frequencies. 2005). fans. Inductive couplers are used to connect BPL modems to the medium voltage power lines. in-home intercom systems have been available for many years that use the electric lines of the building to deliver audio data over the buildings electrical lines. lamps. plugged into a standard outlet. etc. generally below 600 kHz (OSHA. In-house BPL products can comply relatively easily with the radiated emissions limits in Part 156 of the FCC‘s Rules.. the term ―power-line carrier‖. Electric companies have deployed technologies such as SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) over power lines to perform simple command/control functions at remote locations. For residential broadband service customers who get cable modem service. because the products connect directly with the low voltage electric lines inside your home or office. such as substations. using the electric transmissions lines as the conduit (Wikipedia).BPL modems use silicon chips designed to send signals over electric power lines. 2005) where a timer-based controller. Electric company linesmen have also used the transmission lines by tapping the wire with specialized radios for communicating with each other along through the line.from FM to Wideband. communicates over the home‘s electrical wires to appliance modules plugged into other outlets to turn devices (e. while exciting and innovative. has been used to refer to the use of electrical lines as a medium for communications. In-home networking. What the FCC is really wrestling with is how to get broadband Internet access over ―the last mile‖ to the home. In-house BPL4 is a home networking technology that uses the transmission standards developed by the Home Plug Alliance5. such as homes and business. History of Communications over Electric Lines Using electrical lines for communication is not new. Advances in processing power have enabled new BPL modem chips to overcome difficulties in sending communications signals over the electric power lines.) on or off.g. without directly connecting to the line. is not a major policy concern for the FCC. to high-speed services and the Internet. A major challenge is how to deliver the signal from the medium voltage line to the low 24 .CHAPTER 5.

the communications signal is shielded by the conduit and the earth and as a result is unlikely to cause interference to other communications services. using differentapproaches and architecture. Extractors provide the interface between the MV power lines carrying BPL signals and the households within the service area. and other electronic devices.Router is a device that acts as an interface between two networks and provides network management functions. An elected board of directors governs co-ops. which are consumerowned electric systems with customers primarily in rural areas. a term used to describe systems that intentionally conduct signals over electrical wiring or power lines. All are ―Carrier-Current‖ systems. Repeater is a physical-layer hardware device used on a network to extend the length. IOUs exist to make a profit for their stockholders while serving the public. including BPL modems.voltage line that enters your house. 25 . BPL extractors are usually located at each LV distribution transformer feeding a group of homes. When BPL modems are installed on underground electric lines. They answer to the community and do not have to pay a dividend to share holders.Carrier-Current System: There are a number of types of BPL systems. All electronic devices sold in the U. overhead medium voltage power lines. Injectors are tied to the Internet backbone via fiber of T1 lines and interface to the MV power lines feeding the BPL service area.S. topology. Concentrator/Injector is a device that aggregates the end-user CPE data onto the MV (medium voltage) grid. Co-Op is a third type of utility that is also known as electric membership corporations or cooperatives. because the transformer that lowers the electric power from several thousand volts down to 220/110 is a potential barrier to the broadband signal. Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) are governed by a board of directors elected by stock holders.Munis are municipally owned utilities that use the revenues from electricity sales toward operation of the system and the improvement of services to the community. The FCC is more concerned about the interference potential of BPL signals transmitted on exposed. or interconnectivity of the physical medium beyond that imposed by a single segment. have to meet FCC radio frequency (RF) emissions limits. Part 15 of the FCC‘s Rules governs interference issues between unlicensed devices.

and (4) an aircraft receiver in flight.. governments. and other organizations have undertaken studies of the effects of BPL technology. That is a number of local peaks were observed at some locations. but not released.1 NTIA Phase I Study The NTIA concluded a Phase I study of BPL and completed.g. The NTIA performed measurements at three different BPL deployment sites in order to characterize the BPL fundamental emissions. Present at one measurement location where a large number of BPL devices were deployed on multiple three-phase and single-phase MV power lines. at least 5 dB higher than ambient noise) were observed beyond 500 meters from the nearest BPL energized power lines. Finally. 26 . a Phase II study in January 2006. Phase I studied interference risks to radio reception in the immediate vicinity of BPL and made mitigating recommendations to the FCC. BPL Studies A number of private corporations. Federal communications require protection on frequencies amounting to about 5.e. the BPL signal was observed to decay with distance away from the power line at a rate slower than would be predicted by space wave loss from a point source.. This section provides a non-exhaustive overview of several major studies and findings. (3) a receiver using a rooftop antenna (e. NTIA‘s measurements show that the radiated power from the BPL energized power lines was consistently higher when the measurement antenna was placed at a greater height (e.7-80 MHz range in the Phase I report.CHAPTER 6. appreciable BPL signal levels (i. In some cases. 2 meter)..g. but the decrease was not always monotonic. This information was intended to help operators of BPL systems in the development of BPL frequency plans. Based on the results of these tests. a base or fixed-service station). the NTIA recommended that the FCC refine Part 15 compliance measurement guidelines to ensure that the peak field strength of any unintentional BPL emissions is measured. (2) a ship borne receiver.4% of the 1. the radiated field strength decreased with increasing distance. The NTIA also summarized technical and operating parameters of Federal Government frequency assignments in the 1. 10 meter vs. The NTIA measurements indicated that the BPL electric field does not generally decay monotonically with distance from the BPL source as the measurement antenna was positioned near to and moving along the length of the power line. The NTIA then defined representative radio systems for consideration in interference analyses: (1) a land vehicular receiver. As the measurement antenna was moved away from the BPL energized power line.7-80 MHz frequency range. 6.

the BBC produced a study titled: ―Protection of ‗sensitive‘ receiving sites. thus. The study also concluded that the threat of sky-wave interference from wide-spread deployment of BPL systems has no apparent solution. registration could substantially facilitate prevention and mitigation of interference. Further. scientists. and radio astronomy. In July 2000. It identified that a 50-100 km exclusion zone may be required in some cases. Mandatory registration of certain parameters of planned and deployed BPL systems to enable radio operators to advise BPL operators of anticipated interference problems and suspected actual interference. (3) differential-mode signal injection oriented to minimize radiation. The BBC also said 27 . 6. During the period from 1999 to 2005. the BBC produced a series of White Papers covering various aspects of BPL. monitoring. In October 1999. The BBC stated that the problem ―has an international dimension‖ because interference can be caused at very considerable distances from the source and any ―local‖ permission to ‗use‘ a part of the HF band for wired systems would deny it to others elsewhere for licensed radio. a BBC study titled ―The Threat to New Radio Systems from Distributed Wired-Communication Installations‖xix concluded that many radio users stand to suffer serious disruption of their services if BPL communications systems were allowed to be widely deployed. The study concluded that ground wave propagation presents the greatest threat to sensitive receiving sites but this risk could be controlled by choosing a sufficiently large exclusion zone..g.The NTIA suggested several means by which BPL interference can be prevented or eliminated should it occur. (2) avoidance of locally used radio frequencies. and (5) judicious choice of BPL signal frequencies to decrease radiation. The BBC was early to identify BPL as a technology that could support censorship by being employed to keep unwanted foreign shortwave signals from reaching citizens in various parts of the world. The NTIA also recommended that BPL devices should be capable of frequency agility (notching and/or retuning) and power reduction for elimination of interference.2 BBC Studies The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) employs a staff of Research & Development engineers. including: (1) routine use of the minimum output power needed from each BPL device. the NTIA recommended that BPL developers consider several interference prevention and mitigation measures. and mathematicians for the purpose of keeping BBC at the forefront of technology. BPL-free area) must be chosen by the operators of the exclusion zones themselves. surveillance. (4) use of filters and terminations to extinguish BPL signals on power lines where they are not needed. The study concluded that the size of an ―exclusion zone‖ (e.xviii‖ which included aeronautical/marine safety.

28 . Additionally. 6. the BBC is developing a BPL modem that makes use of the fact that the short-wave frequencies for broadcast radio change throughout the day as ionospheric conditions dictate.Net (the manufacturer of the Manassas BPL system) set the power level for overhead equipment at 4.and filters them out. The testing was conducted in responseto a complaint filed with the FCC by several local American Radio Relay League (ARRL) radio operators who asserted that the BPL system is generating unlawful interference.that BPL will hamper subsequent re-planning of the HF band for radio users and new radio systems. In addition to the laboratory testing activities. Unfortunately.4-2003 ―American National Standard for Methods of Measurement of Radio-Noise Emissions from Low-Voltage Electrical and Electronic Equipment in the Range of 9 kHz to 40 GHz‖ were employed by the testing laboratory representatives. The laboratory testing included measurements at five overhead and five underground locations. The BBC modem detects which frequency bands are in use at any one time . Relevant portions of the ANSI C63. However. Virginia. BBC recommended that the BPL industry needs to resolve this through voluntary standards before major deployments of the technology occurs. coupling adjustments and other alignments to optimize signal propagation and minimize signal leakage were made by Main. titled ―Co-existence of Power Line Telecommunications and Radio Services – a possibility?‖xx. It was noted that the World Radio Conference needs the flexibility to be able to adjust world frequency allocation tables and thus permanent notches might not provide sufficient flexibility for that purpose. Virginia Study In July 2006 an FCC accredited testing laboratory (Product Safety Engineering. the study concluded that dynamic notches may not be deep enough to satisfy the requirements of amateur radio and that some permanent frequency notches may be needed. the equipment range being 1-7 with 7 being the highest. the system rendered attenuation of 29. the BBC postulated that a system employing dynamic notching based on voltages on the power lines during quiet periods could be used to distinguish the parts of the spectrum that should not be used by BPL. Currently. The test data indicated compliance with FCC Part 15 regulations with frequency notching turned off.) produced a report on the BPL system deployed by the city of Manassas. This technology is not part of any BPL system currently in trial deployment. which included both low and medium voltage lines.7 dB to 31 dB below FCC Part 15 limits. A BBC research and development study published in June 2005. Inc.Net. concluded that if HF bands are manually notched that both cost and delay in processing complaints is a concern. Main. With notch filters turned on.3 Manassas.

―the ARRL analysis data for the large radiator systems of overhead power lines resulted in no cases approaching 40 dB per distance decade. ARRL representatives were unavailable to participate with PSE in evaluating the Equipment under Test (EUT). The ARRL operators have again called upon the FCC to shut down the Manassas BPL system because of interference to amateur radio frequencies. The ARRL analysis yields the extrapolation factor of 15 dB per distance decade for the 3 to 30 meter distance ratio for a typical case on 14 MHz with the strongest magnetic field at 3 meters in distance from the radiator system. 2003. The study also documented difficulties that were encountered in making measurements at the FCC specified measurement distance of 10 meters and elaborated that controversies in methods for extrapolation of data for distance between antenna position and conductors of the system make comparison with the FCC limits difficult. Another case on 3. Additionally. ARRL operators have voiced criticism regarding the test procedures and results documented by PSE. This was prior to the FCC Report and Order on BPL issued in October 2004. 29 .‖ Furthermore. More specifically.5 MHz yielded the factor of 24 dB per distance decade. Virginia. published by MetaVox Incorporated in March of 2004.Regretfully. as stated on page 15. The resolution of these kinds of BPL testing issues for the early adopters of the technology will benefit all of the parties involved. 6. The FCC testing standards require that frequencies below 30 MHz measurements should not be made in the near field.4 ARRL Study The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) sponsored a studyxxi. Subsequently. of BPL systems located in the vicinities of both Allentown. Pennsylvania and Manassas. by over 20 dB in some cases. the ARRL study observed that ―Making measurements at distances closer than 30 meters and extrapolating at 40 dB/decade can easily result in an under estimation of the actual maximum field at 30 meters distance. measurement results from closer than 30 meters must be extrapolated for compliance with the Part 15 rules. In comments to the FCC dated July 7.‖ Measurements made by MetaVox for the ARRL also suggested that the 40 dB/decade extrapolation factor may not be suitable for use in compliance testing on BPL systems. ARRL has called upon the FCC to conduct unannounced independent testing of the Manassas BPL system.

including computer-aided design. The paper discusses that gigabit networks. many follow-on functions benefit from gigabit networks. The IEEE recommended the creation of a new generation of broadband wired and wireless networks as a national priority. The CCIP noted that the existing US infrastructure includes broadband upgrades to copper local loops (for example. Economies of scale occur through fiber. broadbanddeployment in the United States seriously lags in satisfying the needs of the world‘s strongest economy. data modems and cable networks.‖ The IEEE asserts that the US economy is based on knowledge — its creation. Modern research typically retrieves. the IEEE Committee on Communications and Information Policy (CCIP) published a white paper titled. After the research. the fact remains that wire-based alternatives cannot reach the Gb/s speeds future applications will require. and fixed and mobile broadband wireless systems. The IEEE paper concluded that ―on the contrary. its marginal cost) becomes very small by virtue of its huge capacity. ―Providing Ubiquitous Gigabit Networks in The United States. ―advanced telecommunications capability and advanced services‖ to describe broadband services and facilities with an upstream (customer-toprovider) and downstream (provider-to-customer) transmission speed of more than 200 kilobits per second (kbps). DSL and T-1s). dissemination. and achieved through mobilization of resources by users and incumbent suppliers alike. sales. A knowledge economy uniquely creates new wealth through invention and innovation. integration of design.xxii‖ which advocates that to remain competitive the US needs ―gigabit-per-second (Gb/s)‖ networks instead of ―broadband‖ networks. and collaboration among all through high quality video conferencing. the IEEE identified that the FCC concludes. ―…that advanced telecommunications capability is indeed being deployed on a reasonable and timely basis to all Americans. The CCIP also noted that all of the afore mentioned facilities are lower in cost.‖ The IEEE asserted that ―this definition is clearly inadequate. Development depends on research that depends on access to the entire body of existing knowledge and the rapid exchange of new knowledge throughout the economy and the society. to be facilitated by legislative and regulatory action.6. creates and exchanges massive information files at gigabit rates. manufacturing. and application. For 30 . and distribution.‖ The IEEE white paper ―emphatically‖ rejected this FCC conclusion. than optical fiber. provide symmetric data transport capable of gigabit-per-second (Gb/s) speeds and beyond. but also lower in capability. in part because the cost of transporting one more unit of use (that is. The IEEE paper noted that the FCC used the terms.5 IEEE Report on USA Broadband Networking In April 2005. in contrast to current broadband networks. Even considering that rapid technological progress is being made across the board.‖ Further.

example, future access to a menu of 100 simultaneous video channels at the high definition (HD) digital rate of 20 Mb/s per channel for a diverse audience of end users requires 2 Gb/s capacity. The infrastructure necessary to support facile interaction among the members themselves of such a broad audience demands even greater capacity ― a capacity easily available through fiber. Data, music, and voice can be added, once such an infrastructure is deployed because these elements have relatively small bandwidth requirements. A further example of the future requirements for Gb/s networks can be observed from the research and development efforts underway on Internet 2. Internet2 is a US based high-speed network consortium of over 200 university, commercial, and government partners. The main purpose of Internet2 is to develop and deploy advanced network applications and technologies, which facilitate education, research and non-commercial applications, using multicasting, digital libraries, virtual laboratories, etc. All of these applications require high-speed transmission of large amounts of data, highly enhancing collaboration and information-sharing among members. Internet was built using fiber-optic transmission technology with speeds typically ranging from 2 Gb/s – 10 Gb/s symmetrical. Advancements are being made with BPL technologies that are resulting in higher theoretical and practical speed limits being achieved. Reports of futuristic BPL systems supporting speeds of 1 Gb/s have been published. Nevertheless, the IEEE report raises important questions about whether or not a BPL infrastructure could support Internet application requirements


CHAPTER 7. Overview of Grid Structure and Topology
While the details of electric power grid structures and topologies differ from country to country,a power grid basically consists of power plants or generators, transmission substations, transmission lines, power substations with transformers to change voltage levels, and distribution lines that collectively generate and carry the electricity from power plants all the way to wall plugs. Power plants are basically spinning electricity generators. Spinning can be performed by a steam turbine, and steam can be created by burning fossil fuel or from a nuclear reactor. A generator‘s output is three-phase alternating current (AC) power at voltage levels in the thousands. The three single phases are synchronized and offset by 120 degrees. Three-phase current is chosen because single phase AC goes through a full cycle (from zero to peak to zero to other peak and back to zero) at the line rate, which is 60 times per second in the US and 50 in the other parts of the world. With three synchronized phases, on the other hand, one of the three phases is nearing a peak at any given instant. More phases could be used, but this implies more wires and higher cost; three seems to be a good compromise between cost and performance. Power P, transferred over lines and delivered to customers, is equal to the product of voltage V and current I (P = IV). Power loss in the line grows with the square of the current, that is, P loss = R line * I2, where R line is the line resistance and depends on the line material and increases with the length of the line. For a given generated P and a given R line, to reduce P loss, current I must be made as small as possible. This means that the line voltage must be made as large as possible, especially for long-distance transmissions. Transmission substations located next to power plants use large transformers to step up generator output from thousands of volts to hundreds of thousands of volts (typically between 155,000 and 765,000 volts), thus allowing megawatts of power transmission over distances of 300 miles or more. At power substations, voltages are stepped down and lines are branched out to cover larger areas. This is performed successively, transforming and branching out from extremely high voltage (EHV, typically 155 to 765 kV) to high voltage (HV, typically 45 to 155 kV), and then from HV to medium voltage (MV, typically 2 to 45 kV), and finally from MV to low voltage (LV, typically 100 to 600 V) for delivery to homes or businesses.


Figure 7(a):Basic Architecture of Power Generation & Distribution


In the US.b Figure 7(b):From Generation to consumption. making point-to- 34 . and support three wires that carry the three separate phases. in the US. (BPL business models are examined later in this paper. most lines run underground. levels and structures of branching. but also the economic viability of a BPL system. MV and LV lines.The result is a tree-structured power distribution hierarchy. Basically. located 50 meters apart. Power Grid hierarchy The structures needed to support EHV and HV lines are typically tall.)Altering the Power Grid to Allow BPL EHV and HV lines are usually too noisy to transmit broadband communications signals. MV lines typically run between 15 and 50 km. See Figure 7. MV lines are usually less branched than LV lines. A network of MV lines is usually referred to as the primary distribution. As mentioned. at the primary distribution level. plus a neutral (possibly grounded) wire. and voltage levels vary from country to country. massive towers. street poles are typically 10 meters high. Overhead lines are more susceptible than underground lines to producing radiation interference and to picking up interference. EHV and HV are used to transmit AC electric power. a network of LV lines is the secondary distribution. At the secondary distribution level. and MV and LV areused to distribute it. For instance. most power lines are aerial or overhead.typically fewer than a dozen homes are served by a single MV/LV transformer. This affects not only the communications characteristics. network architectures. only MV and LV lines are used for BPL. But underground lines are used less due to the prohibitive cost of burying cables. In the US. are typically mounted on street poles. whereas in Japan this number is about 30 and in Europe it is several hundred. particularly in newer urban areas.. on the other hand. In the US.

typically next to a power substation where multiple MV lines are connected. limitations on the amount of signal power that can be injected into power lines without causing unacceptable interference for other spectrum users. Figure 7(c) illustrates a typical BPL architecture. and cost. 35 . In inductive coupling. aggregates and concentrates uplink data streams. Line noise. the bypass box can also have built-in repeating functionality at a small incremental cost. A point-of-presence (POP) is needed to connect the BPL network to a backhaul network such as the Internet.point connections possible. the broadband signal must be injected into and extracted from the lines through couplers. they are safer to install on energized lines than capacitive couplers. The backhaul network box is typically a bidirectional device that converts data formats. which are intended to pass low frequencies near 50 or 60 Hz. MV networks allow communication over longer distances because of their weaker signal attenuation and lower noise level. helps allocate bandwidth and resources. MV couplers are typically inductive. Inductive couplers are known to be rather lossy. or a mobile network. Repeaters. on the other hand. a capacitor is responsible for the actual coupling. depending on distribution system topology. a public switched telephone network (PSTN). The recent capability to effectively and safely bypass transformers has been instrumental to the success and deployment of BPL. could add latency (especially if the signal is regenerated)and could also create single points of failure. The connection is made through a backhaul network box coupled to an MV distribution line. an inductor is used to couple the signal onto the network‘s current waveform. and signal attenuation as the signal traverses the line make it necessary to regenerate or repeat the signal periodically. This can be done by using MV couplers to couple the broadband signal off of the MV line so that it can be regenerated if necessary and amplified before being fed back onto the MV line through another coupler. and the signal is modulated onto the network‘s voltage waveform. In capacitive coupling. because a single bad repeater can bring down an entire communications line. It is important that couplers be easy-toinstall passive devices with low failure rates that can be used outdoors and installed on energized lines. Typically. To use power lines for broadband communications. provides routing functionality. appear as open circuits for the passage of higher frequency signals and typically attenuate and distort the weak broadband signal beyond reconstruction and usability. performance requirements. but since they require no physical connection to the network. and provides various backhaul Ethernet interfaces to fiber optic or wireless connections. generates billing and charging data. LV couplers may be capacitive or inductive. This implies that BPL signals going between MV and LV lines need to bypass the transformers. Transformers.

Figure 7(c): A typical BPL Architecture A BPL network. also requires a network management system (NMS) or operations support system (OSS) to observe and manage network resources and perform billing and other back-end tasks. like any other communications network. 36 .

typically only the MV lines are used. and existing standard wireless user modems are required. In hybrid BPL. An end-toend BPL system uses both access BPL and in-house BPL. For hybrid BPL. Two of the three BPL deployment options involve the access BPL portion of an end-to-end system: the BPL signal can either (1) bypass the MV/LV transformer (as does CURRENT Technologies® equipment) or (2) go through the transformer (as does Main Net Communications equipment). Also associated with hybrid BPL are the usual existing issues regarding wireless performance in unlicensed spectrum and the current state of wireless quality of service (QoS). power lines are used all the way from the power substation to the end user. For end-to-end BPL. 37 . Figure 8(a):BPL Deployment Options The third BPL deployment option is hybrid BPL. using one of the three options illustrated in Figure 4. BPL Deployment Options The MV and LV line portions of the BPL are usually referred to as the access BPL. the bypass box does not couple the broadband signal to/from the LV line but converts it to/from a wireless format and delivers it to the wireless access point (AP) also located on the pole. security. In this option. and in-house BPL modems are required. while the portion inside a home or office using the inside wiring is called the in-house BPL. bypass boxes and LV couplers must be installed on all LV lines. i..e. bypass boxes with wireless conversion boards.CHAPTER 8. but LV transformer bypasses and LV couplers are not. BPL can be deployed either as end-to-end BPL or as hybrid BPL. and a fixed wireless network replaces the LV lines and in-house BPL (Amperion™ takes this approach).wireless APs.

CHAPTER 9. the backbone. The technology transports data. and the last mile as shown below in Figure 9 (a) Figure 9(a):An Overview of BPL System The BPL vendors are primarily seeking to address the ―last mile‖ segment all the way into ―the home‖ market. a Power line Telecom network consists of three key segments. voice and video at broadband speeds to the enduser‘s connection. the middle mile. How BPL Works At a high-level. The user only needs to plug an electrical cord from the ―BPL modem‖ into any electrical outlet then plug an Ethernet or USB cable into the Ethernet card or USB interface on their PC. The data signal can also interconnect with wireless. BPL technology works by sending high-speed data along medium or low voltage power lines into the customer‘s home. The signal traverses the network over medium and low voltage lines either through the transformers or by-passes the transformer using bridges or couplers. fiber or other media for backhaul and last mile completion. The actual hardware used for the deployment varies by manufacturer but 38 . From the end user‘s perspective. Any Internet Service Provider (ISP) can interface with the BPL network and provide high speed Internet access.

By bundling radio frequency (RF) energy on the same line with an electric current. There are even networking solutions available today that transfer data using the electrical wiring in a home or business. transformers and other distributors that carry electricity from the power plant all the way to a plug in the wall. data can be transmitted without the need for a separate data line. the BPL developers could partner with power companies and Internet service providers (ISPs) to bring broadband to everyone with access to electricity. There are several different approaches to overcoming the hurdles presented when transmitting data through power lines. substations. By modifying the current power grids with specialized equipment. The power lines are just one component of electric companies' power grids. DSL or cable line) and into the homes. large ISPs lease fiber-optic lines from the phone company to carry the data around the Internet and eventually to another medium (phone. power grids use generators. and wired and wireless devices worldwide. Trillions of bytes of data a day are transferred on fiber optic lines because they are a stable way to transmit data without interfering with other types of transmissions. But this data is fairly simple and the transmission speed is relatively slow. the two don‘t interfere with each other. 39 . these high-voltage lines represent the first hurdle. When power leaves the power plant. Typically. Because the electric current and RF vibrate at different frequencies. When transmitting broadband. wireless networking. developers have created a way to send data over power lines and into homes at speeds equivalent to those of DSL and cable. By combining the technological principles of radio. The Internet is a huge network of networks that are connected through cables. Electric companies have used this technology for years to monitor the performance of power grids. computers. In addition to lines. The idea of using AC (alternating current) power to transfer data is not new. and modems.typically feature some common characteristics. it hits a transmission substation and is then distributed to high voltage transmission lines.

The Coupler allows the data on the line to bypass transformers. That amount of power jumps all over the spectrum. As it spikes and hums along. 40 . If it spikes at a frequency that is the same as the RF used to transmit data.000 to 765.Figure 9(b):An Overview of Power Line System The power flowing down high-voltage lines is between 155. special devices are installed on the lines to act as repeaters. amplifying it for the next leg of the journey. In order for data to transmit cleanly from point to point.BPL bypasses this problem by avoiding high-voltage power lines all together. then it will cancel out that signal and the data transmission will be dropped or damaged en route. The repeaters take in the data and repeat it in a new transmission. two other devices ride power poles to distribute Internet traffic. it must have a dedicated band of the radio spectrum at which to vibrate without interference from other sources." Both electricity and the RF used to transmit data vibrate at certain frequencies. In one model of BPL. The system drops the data off of traditional fiber-optic lines downstream. it creates all kinds of interference.Once dropped onto the medium-voltage lines. It's too "noisy. onto the much more manageable 7.000 volts. That amount of power is unsuitable for data transmission. To counter this. and the Bridge. a device that facilitates carrying the signal into the homes.200volts of mediumvoltage power lines. the data can only travel so far before it degrades. Hundreds of thousands of volts of electricity don't vibrate at a consistent frequency.

The signal is received by a power line modem that plugs into the wall. The modem sends the signal to your computer. so you need a coupler to provide a data path around the transformer. and an Ethernet cable running to your computer finishes the connection. The last mile is the final step that carries Internet into the subscriber's home or office. BPL modems use silicon chipsets specially designed to handle the work load of pulling data out of an electric current. while others put wireless links on the poles and send the data wirelessly into homes. Using specially developed modulation techniques and adaptive algorithms. Figure 9(c):A BPL MODEM 41 . As shown in Figure 9(c). some companies carry the signal in with the electricity on the power line. The Bridge facilitates both. BPL modems are capable of handling power line noise on a wide spectrum. There is no way for low-power data signals to pass through a transformer. data can move easily from the 7. It plugs into a common wall socket. a BPL modem is plug and play and is roughly the size of a common power adapter.200 volts down to the 240-volt standard that makes up normal household electrical service. In the various approaches to last-mile solutions for BPL. Wireless versions are also available.200-volt line to the 240-volt line and into the house without any degradation.The transformer's job is to reduce the 7. With the coupler.

Content providers. such as homes and business. and deliver traffic among ISPs. less pollution and greater reliability and security. The Broadband services enabling partners may be in one or more of the delivery segments (Figure 5. on the other hand. they may want to leave that part of BPL to a partner. Industry Structure – Key Enabling Partners Electric utilities may not necessarily want to enter the communications business. These characteristics and distinctions are based on network functionality and the fact that each of these categories has its own economic properties with distinct regulatory issues. to high-speed services and the Internet. for example. Power companies have often employed low-speed power line communication for their own internal use—to monitor and control equipment in the power grid. or a long distance company looking for an alternative last mile path to their customers.1. Current focus of most electric utilities is using BPL for an intelligent electric distribution grid. Internet service providers (ISPs):These are companies that receive and translate internet bound data and help customers obtain online information from the Internet. This could result in lower electric power costs. essentially. For residential broadband service customers who get cable modem service. goods. In fact. a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC). connect those networks into the complex that constitutes the Internet. Content providers: This part of broadband consists of companies that provide information. Currently there is a dearth of competition in the provision of middle -mile services.CHAPTER 10. as well as posing challenges in the area of consumer protection and free 42 . amore intelligent electric power grid. perhaps an ISP.1) or roles: The last mile: This is the portion of the network that connects end users. which means existing providers can discriminate against their customers. The middle mile: This portion of the network consists of high-speed fiber backbones and other ―middle-mile pipes‖ that connect computers to networks. and services available to consumers through the Internet. the drop wire connecting the interface on a house to cable company‘s network and the wire from the interface connecting to the wall plates in the home would all be part of the last mile. content providers. raise competitive issues in terms of their ability or willingness to engage in exclusive contracts for the carrying of their content. online service companies. and other customers.

ISPs operate in a very competitive environment. Utilities have operated as monopolies and. On the other hand. A partnership with an ISP (or a local CLEC) might leverage key strengths: Then utility could focus on network management while the ISP could focus on marketing.speech. The last mile and the middle mile are most relevant because they relate to the wiresportion of the electricity network. cost effective customer acquisition and a high quality customer service. Customer service appears to be a key differentiator with most of the consumers. while good at building infrastructure they lack experience in competitive environment. Current broadband environment is expected to become very competitive with both cable modem providers and DSL providers aggressively marketing their services and other alternate providers looking at entering the market. The opportunity to work together could also involve shared investment 43 . The key success factors include effectively marketing to customers. the industry‘s easiest entry into the broadband industry. Figure 10(a):Industry Structure – Key Enabling Partners A partnership between a utility and an external third party service provider offers strategic value as each player can focus on what it does best.

It believes that BPL has the potential to open new avenues of Internet access. permitting. and time-consuming site acquisition. to enable new and expanded services for utility companies. A number of BPL proponents submit that this technology could increase the availability of broadband and improve the competitiveness of the broadband services market. 11. Many players believe that Access BPL could facilitate the ubiquitous availability of broadband services and bring valuable new services to consumers.CHAPTER 11.1 Potential Benefits Benefits to Service Providers From a service provider‘s point of view. dig. Impetus for BPL as an Access Technology Most stakeholders in BPL industry suggest that BPL could offer a number of significant benefitsin the delivery of broadband services to homes and businesses. 11. expensive.. improve national productivity. factor is that the transmission medium. the power lines. There is no need to purchase spectrum or to hang. The first. i. These factors imply potential cost and time savings that could level the BPL deployment playing field a bit more compared with DSL and cable. BPL could provide large cost savings. and to create a new platform for further advances in communications technology. There is also no need for the difficult. stimulate economic activity. both of which have significant deployment head starts. and by far the most important. The ubiquitous nature of BPL is expected to create the opportunity for providing new and innovative services to virtually any location serviced with electric outlets. and licensing tasks needed for a typical deployment. or lay new wires.e. Benefits to Electric Utilities  For the electric utility companies. BPL‘s benefits are twofold:  It can create new sources of revenue from an existing investment. and 44 . Given the omnipresence of power lines. and advance economic opportunity for the American public. because most of the required infrastructure already exists. BPL also holds the promise of being able to provide genuinely ubiquitous coverage. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) states that BPL holds great promise as a new source of innovation and competition in the broadband marketplace. is already in place.

connected and controlled through a PC and remotely. and adaptive self-healing. BPL may be the only viable choice (e. and verification.  Performance of preventive maintenance and improvement of service reliability and Customer satisfaction by avoiding power outages and emergencies  Advanced supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)  Fault detection.  Real-time video surveillance of the sensitive national power infrastructure (e..  In some places. fault analysis.  BPL may provide a more ubiquitous and reliable service coverage area.g. gridand substations) Benefits to End Users  End users can benefit from BPL deployment because:  BPL could create competition and thus help reduce end-user service prices. While these devices could possibly be controlled through a DSL or a cable modem connection.g. restoration detection.  BPL could be used for smart appliances.  Load shifting and balancing.  Automatic outage detection.. in rural areas). It can help create a smart grid for the utility companies that would enable enhanced utility applications such as:  System monitoring from any point on the electric grid. BPL may provide a more integrated (neater) solution. The explosive growth of the Internet and the recent deregulation of telecommunications in the US and Europe have led to the renewed interest in BPL. Extensive research on BPL channel modeling and a considerable amount of interference analysis have taken place. Concurrently.  BPL-enabled electricity meters that enable time-of-day and real-time pricing through automated meter reading (AMR) with remote disconnect (and reconnect) and theft detection. although satellite based service may also be of interest in these areas.  Optimized asset utilization and management. there have been a 45 .

By providing a third broadband technology. government officials and security experts have identified the need for the United States to possess communications network redundancy. It offers the long sought third wire (other two being telephone and cable) for last-mile delivery of broadband communication services to residences and small businesses. In the areas already served by other broadband providers. the nation would gain some of that needed redundancy. along with advances in signal processing such as the newer adaptive modulation and coding techniques and faster.3 Consumer Benefits The supporters of BPL expect it to improve the competitiveness of the market for broadband services. utilities are responsible for ensuring secure infrastructure power for federal facilities. city and local government. cheaper processors and electronics. The next sections of this paper examine in more detail the key implementation challenges and regulatory concerns facing BPL. As per United Power Line Council (UPLC). and state. thereby improving efficiency in activities such as energy management. despite its renewed attractiveness. The United Power Line Council (UPLC) believes that BPL offers a unique opportunity in the broadband marketplace and that there is widespread interest in BPL among utilities. Access BPL would allow electric utilities to better monitor and control electric system operations and thereby improve the reliability of their service and reduce costs to consumers. 11. Under the Mission Essential Voluntary Assets (MEVA) guidelines. 11. BPL must overcome implementation challenges as well as regulatory concerns before it can become a viable avenue of broadband access. BPL will also enhance security and enable other security applications such as video surveillance consistent with the MEVA guidelines. The second benefit is the ability of BPL technology to improve the provision of electric power service and therefore advance homeland security. BPL will increase competition. which in turn will bring better service and lower prices for consumers.large number of field trials and measurements to validate various models. 46 . including military bases.2 Homeland Security and Network Benefits In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. with the development of voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) there would be a network redundancy for voice communications as well. The BPL technology could also be used to assist the utility companies by adding intelligent capabilities to the electric grid. Nonetheless. Also. power outage notification and automated meter reading.

Because all users share the available channel capacity or bandwidth. similar to DSL. BPL is thought to be distance limited. the lengths of linesegments. unpredictable. power lines can also easily pick up nearby radio frequency signals. Thus. per-user throughput goes down. the number and types of branches. as the number of users goes up. and potential interference concerns (in both directions) . Line branching. An average available throughput of 50 Mbps implies roughly an average of 1 Mbps per user. In the US. they can produce electromagnetic radiation that is easily detected by radio receivers. 12. Implementation Challenges The Nature of the Power Grid The most obvious challenges to implementing BPL arise from the fact that power line grids were originally developed to transmit electrical power(high voltage AC at low frequencies of 50 or 60 Hz) from a small number of sources (the generators) to a large number of sinks (the end customers). Time-variable behavior is due mainly to the dynamically changing nature of the load connected to the power lines. The fact that the power line grid is a shared medium and BPL is a contention-based system creates additional challenges. their early use for data transmission was mainly for simple. Power grids were neither designed nor devised for communications purposes. To prevent interception of sensitive data by unintended and unauthorized receivers. and frequency dependent.CHAPTER 11. For the same reasons. The main challenges to BPL arising from the nature of the power grid have been the extremely harsh. the types of power line equipment connected (such as 47 . but becomes a valid regulatory concern. time-and-locationvariable characteristics of the power line channel. data encryption is a must.1 Power Line Noise In general. A related challenge facing BPL centers around data sensitivity. low-data-rate (a few kilobits per second) remote monitoring and meter reading applications at a low frequency (typically only up to a few hundred kilohertz). a power line channel is a very harsh and noisy transmission medium. The noise on the line is typically time. Thus. the distance between the customer‘s home and the supplying substation is a factor in the bit rate available to the user. However. Even though the interest in using power lines for communications is not new. there are typically 50 homes per substation. addressing mutual interference is not only a challenge. location. a speed on par with the current average speeds delivered by DSL or cable modem. Channel Characteristics and Capacity. Because power lines are not twisted and have no shielding.

the on/off switching of the capacitor banks used to correct the power factor typically causes high noise peaks. much like the multipaths typically seen in mobile wireless communication channels. and LV lines are typically terminated at timevarying consumer electrical appliances.3 Electromagnetic Interference The components of BPL interference include: (1) Sky Wave (3-30 MHz). or from internal combustion engine ignition (man-made noise)  Emissions from atmospheric gases and hydrometeors  The ground. On the MV grid. and (3) Ground Wave (0. Noise levels on MV lines are typically as much as 20 to 30 dB higher than on LV lines in the frequency range of 1 to 20 MHz 12.372-8 titled: ―Radio Noise. At the same time. impulsive noise. MV and LV lines have very different noise characteristics. within the antenna beam  Radiation from celestial radio sources such as sunspots 12. and elevation. and the kinds of loads connected all affect channel characteristics.capacitor banks and transformers). and synchronous/nonsynchronous (with the power line frequency) colored noise. Furthermore. or other obstructions. location. Since 1951. The narrow-band noise is caused by RF interferers such as amateur or shortwave (SW) radios and varies randomly across location and time. electrical and electronic equipment.‖ The ITU-R has identified that radio noise external to a radio receiving system can be caused by a variety of different factors including:  Radiation from lightning discharges (atmospheric noise due to lightning)  Unintended radiation from electrical machinery.2 RF Noise Issues The introduction of BPL raises issues related to the determination of RF noise sources. impedance mismatches caused by unterminated stubs and line branches cause signal reflections and create a frequency-dependent fading channel. generated primarily by electrical appliances. power transmission lines. The MV grid is usually less branched than the LV grid. this noise is certainly not an additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN). Noise on the LV grid is typically the sum of background noise.1-3MHz).1-30 MHz). (2) Space Wave (0. background noise and narrow-band noise are dominant on MV lines. the International Telecommunications Union-Radiocommunications (ITU-R) sector has periodically published the results of an ongoing study of the sources of RF noise in Recommendation P. The background noise is environmental noise that is highly dependent on weather. Ground waves and sky waves raise the possibility of interference being caused to radio services at distances of tens or even hundreds of kilometers due to 48 .

In the United States. Voice of America. which means that the bandwidth is divided among up to 1. BBC World News) are also threatened by the potential for increase in the noise floor. No MV lines are used. 49 . The ability to achieve satisfactory communications depends on the ratio between the wanted signal and the noise. which use unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (NII) frequencies. A point-topoint backhaul unit connects the wireless network infrastructure to the Internet over a range of up to 20 miles. the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has completed. The system only requires a 3. (3) man-made. The Motorola system reduces HF band interference by restricting the application of RF to LV power lines only. and (4) galactic or cosmic.4 Interference-Free BPL At least two BPL system manufacturers appear to have directly addressed HF interference concerns during the design phase of their architectures. The usual ITU-R standard for non-safety-oflife radiocommunication data services is an Interference-to-Noise (I/N) ratio of –6 dB. A bridge is used to transfer the internet connection from the wireless distribution system onto LV power lines for delivery to customer homes. The system also makes use of notches. 1) Motorola Powerline LV Motorola has designed a hybrid BPL delivery system that combines a wireless network infrastructure with customer delivery over LV power lines.the cumulative effect of a large number of BPL systems. Around the world BPL installations are being tested to verify that their radiation levels do not exceed authorized limits. The noise consists of four components: (1) internally generated receiver noise.6 Mb/s Internet feed to support up to six access point systems.200 subscribers. 12. (2) atmospheric. International shortwave broadcasts (e.. a study of the cumulative effects of BPL system deployments in major cities around the world on the users of HF spectrum. which use the existing in-home electrical wiring as a LAN. This section provides a brief introduction to these systems. which has the effect of raising the noise level no more than 1 dB. The basic design is founded on the use of wireless access point clusters. The creation of electromagnetic interference is an obstacle that BPL needs to overcome in order to flourish as a successful technology.g. but not released.

and (3) Low radiation. thus avoiding it interference issues. This mode exhibits the three characteristics: (1) Very low-loss over distance.. Information carrying energy is coupled on and off the conductor by identical launch devices (see Figure 16 below) on each end of the conductor. 12.2) Corridor Systems Motorola Powerline LV Corridor Systems has designed a BPL system that operates entirely above the HF radio spectrum and is offered as an ―interference free‖ BPL system. Figure 12(a):BPL in 800 MHz . BPL signal propagation operates in a LAN-like manner that makes detection and interception of neighboring transmissions simple. Corridor Systems BPL equipment operates in the range from 800 MHz – 10 GHz. Security requirements are currently being addressed by standards committees in the IEEE and other standards organizations. BPL Access systems use a shared communication medium where multiple (e. (2) Propagation speeds near the speed of light. 5 or more) homes are associated with a single-power transformer. which may extend from VHF through the microwave portions of the spectrum.g.5 Security Issues Data transmitted over a BPL system needs to be encrypted if interception by other users on the same power network is to be avoided. The system utilizes off-the-shelf commodity RF chipsets to provide a lowcost solution with high-performance delivery of information across MV power lines. Security specifications produced by the Home Plug Power line Alliance provide for the use of either 56-bit Data Encryption Standard (DES) or 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).10 GHz range 50 . Corridor‘s system uses a transmission technique that transmits energy over a single conductor of an existing MV power line at frequencies above the HF band. The energy. is launched as a traveling wave mode around the conductor. A BPL system can also suffer interruption or degradation of service by the operation of local HF-transmitting stations in a manner that produces results that are similar to a denial of service attack.

A simple matched uniform MV line segment with no connected device or junctions could have as little as 1 dB/km ohmic absorption or attenuation loss. equivalently. Carson‘s earlier MTL model allowed for ground impedance but did not include ground admittance. LV network losses are typically higher than MV network losses and could be as high as 100 dB/km. The subsequent MTL models include ground admittance. 51 . which cannot be ignored in higher frequencies and/or under poor conductive ground plane conditions.12.6 Channel Attenuation Power lines have been modeled in the literature by using either statistical approaches based on extensive measurements or deterministic approaches based on multi conductor transmission line (MTL) theory and numerical analysis. For a complex overhead MV network. the channel attenuation) in the frequency range of 10 kHz to 100 MHz shows highly frequency-dependent attenuations of as high as 40 dB/km caused by reflections from abrupt discontinuities andmismatched impedances . on the other hand. the amplitude of the channel frequency response (or.

the release of various standards.CHAPTER 13. typically via DSL or cable modem. and with the success of many field trials and early commercial deployments. BPL offers a new.As the regulatory uncertainties and interference issues surrounding BPL dissipate. But the success of BPL. VoIP. BPL‘s future looks very bright. and other broadband services to homes and businesses by using existing MV and LV power lines. like that of any new technology in its infancy. Because roughly 60 percent of Earth‘s inhabitants have access to power lines. currently only 4 percent of the Earth‘s population has access to some type of broadband services. Indeed. and the growing availability of reasonably priced standardized and reliable equipment. BPL could play a significant role in bridging the existingdigital divide. potentially powerful alternative means of providing high-speed Internet services. CONCLUSION Even though the importance and direct socioeconomic impact of access to broadband services are well understood. the road to BPL is becoming increasingly well paved and broadband over power lines seems to be well energized. 52 .depends on more than strong theoretical results or successful field testing. It also depends greatly on the appropriate business models and deployment plans.

―A power Line Communication Network Infrastructure For The Smart Home‖ by Yu-Ju Lin . SEPTEMBER 2004. 4. Daque (M-IEEE). 10. ―Amped up and Ready to Go‖ 53 9. Power Delivery. www.intellon.pcmag.howstuffworks. vol. www. 6. www. www. issue 3. ―A power line data communication interface using spectrum technology in home automation‖ 3. Ltchman and Minkyu Lee IN Electrical and computer Engineering dept University of Florida.dit. July 1996. IEEE Transaction. ―Data Transmission Through Power Lines‖ BY C.homeplugandplay. PP. IEEE Spectrum 2004. 5.11.cnetnews. 1232-1237.extreametech.A. Haniph A. www.BIBLIOGRAPHY 1.

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