Patricia Moloney Figliola, Broadband over Powerlines: Regulatory and Policy Issues (CRS Report RL32421) (May 13, 2008) (full-text).
Congress has expressed significant interest in increasing the availability of broadband services throughout the nation. Broadband over powerlines (BPL) has the potential to play a significant role in increasing the competitive landscape of the communications industry as well as extend the reach of broadband to a greater number of Americans. BPL, like any technology, has its advantages and disadvantages. Proponents state that BPL is less expensive to deploy than the cable and telephone companies' broadband offerings; it does not require upgrades to the actual electric grid; and, it is not limited by some technical constraints of its competitors. However, critics are concerned that BPL interferes with licensed radio frequencies used for amateur radio, government, and emergency response.