US warns over EU powerline standards

Europe’s new Broadband over Powerline (BPL) standards could limit US vendors opportunities in the region, according to the US Trade Representative (USTR).
In its annual 1377 review of global telecoms trade issues, the USTR claims that the latest powerline standard sets emission targets that are unachievable, effectively locking out US suppliers who are only required to ensure their equipment doesn’t cause harmful interference with other users on the same spectrum.
Local sources cited in the USTR report state that the “revised standard establishes emission limits that no BPL equipment can reasonably meet.”
The EU granted a five-year grace period for equipment makers to comply with the new standard and to allow for an industry consensus to emerge.
However, the USTR said it was “unlikely” that an agreement will be reached by the deadline of 2011, and notes that the EU apparently has no contingency in the event a consensus isn’t reached.
The USTR said it “would continue to press the EU” to ensure that BPL equipment that did not present a risk of harmful interference could continue to be sold in Europe.
The trade body says BPL is an increasingly important technology for provision of broadband services, and was already widely deployed by electricity suppliers in the US and elsewhere.

“US service and equipment suppliers excel in the [telecoms] sector, and they need global access in order to ensure their competitiveness, both domestically and abroad,” USTR Ron Kirksaid in releasing the report.