More than just a Ham radio blog.
is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Liverpool PLC plan

The worst criminals are not the guys in stocking masks and stripped tee shirts, who sneak around after dark, they are the men in grey suits with thin watches. They dish out misery for profit and in most cases do not even realise they are doing wrong, for they have no morals. They are just as likely to start a war as sell their own mothers. The little fish quite often will sell a miracle cure without revealing the true misery it brings. For those without a broadband connection Broadband Powerline Communications (PLC) may seem like an answer, but for the amateur radio community it is death on a telegraph pole.

Just when we think we might be winning the war against PLCs some other scumbag pops up.

Five years after PLC was last used in the Britain, the technology that destroys peoples' enjoyment of radio is to be trialled in Liverpool in 2011.

Liverpool has announced plans for a 200Mbps ISP trial to supply 1,000 homes with broadband Internet access. It's believed that the trial is being run by Scottish Power and Plus Dane Homes.

The Mersey Partnership (TMP), a regional inward investment agency, hopes that the trial, which started in the summer, will lead to a major jobs boom for the city region.

An essential element of the scheme is the smart meter, which gives a very detailed breakdown of how much energy is being used by a household. It will mean that, instead of utility companies getting an electricity reading between one and four times a year, they will receive readings every 30 seconds. So what happens is, even in the middle of the night when no-one is using their broadband, there is data from 1,000 homes flowing 120 times every minute and this means the interference is continuous without a break.

Work apparently stated in July and has been going on at 12 substation in secret, supposedly to avoid cable thefts. It would seem to me that the real reason is to avoid direct action and protest at the trial.

The smiling assassin behind the evil scheme would seem to be Mark Knowles the "Low Carbon Economy Manager" for TMP. I would suggest that those who will be effected and other interested parties contact this guy first. I would also suggest that as radio amateurs we should boycott Scottish Power and write telling them why we are changing electricity supplier.

Read the story as it was released at the Daily Post

The following video is a display of the interference caused by this technology.

My thanks to my good friend Joe G7KDZ for alerting me on this story.


  1. Hi Steve, another excellent write up, Thank you for your help ... although I do have to mention that it was Dave 2E0JXE who informed me, regards Joe G7kdz in Liverpool

  2. http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/01/05/05greenwire-calif-county-criminalizes-smart-meter-installa-66649.html

    Article from slashdot and NY Times about smart meters