The technology was given a public boost when NSW energy provider EnergyAustralia announced that it had completed a successful trial of BPL in Newcastle at the end of last year. Other recent trials have occurred in Queanbeyan, by Country Energy, and also one in Tasmania by Aurora Energy.
However, a range of services will be adversely affected by BPL, according to Martin Howells, the NSW State Coordinator for A.C.R.E.M. (Australian Citizens Radio Emergency Monitors).
Howells said AM broadcast radio, amateur radio, HF maritime radio, HF aircraft frequencies, RFDS, School of the Air, 4WD safety and emergency networks, SES and Police HF radio networks, and various other HF radio users and emergency services were all prone to interference by the technology.
Glenn Dunstan, a consulting engineer at Densham & Associates, said the nature of BPL meant it would always create serious side effects.
"Tons of documents prove without a doubt that it does not work," he said. "It [power lines] is designed to carry AC voltage, not radio signals."
From a technical viewpoint, Howell's said BPL technology utilised radio frequencies commonly between 3-30MHz to deliver the broadband signals (it is believed the Newcastle trial used up to 80MHz).
"Power lines tend to radiate the HF frequencies just like a giant 'long-wire' antenna," he said. "It is impossible for the BPL provider to filter all HF frequencies, as this would basically kill the technology, so obviously there is going to be some frequencies radiated from the power lines to be received by nearby receivers.
"Just ask any radio operator about the interference that can be radiated from a faulty/dirty power line insulator -- these can cause problems for hundreds of metres, so what kind of problems do we expect from an actual radio frequency?"