Broadband power pipedream could be TV nightmare

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Broadcasters are asking the Federal Communications Commission to prevent
electric companies from offering broadband over power lines on frequencies used
for television.

Tests in the United States and other countries have demonstrated that leakage from
power lines will cause significant interference to VHF channels 2-5,
particularly to digital-TV transmission, the National Association of
Broadcasters and the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) warned.

"The low-VHF TV band is already heavily polluted with manmade impulse-type
background interference, attributed in part to leaky power lines," the NAB and MSTV
wrote in comments filed with the FCC last week. "Power-line broadband service is
likely to further increase the noise floor and may result in significant analog-picture disruption and total degradation of DTV signals."

For years, utility companies have talked about the potential their power
pipeline into nearly every U.S. home holds as a ubiquitous source of broadband
service, but the idea hasn’t moved much beyond a few pilot projects.