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Parliamentary question - E-000997/2019Parliamentary question

Determining limit value exceedances by powerline modems when in use by end-users

Question for written answer E-000997-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Evelyne Gebhardt (S&D) , Birgit Sippel (S&D)

We have been asked by a citizen to forward the following written question to the Commission.

Powerline modems might comply with the current limit values in laboratory tests, but they usually cannot do so when they are in use by end-users. The main reason is the considerable discrepancies in the installation of electrical wiring in buildings, which cannot possibly be replicated in laboratory tests.

High-frequency signals (data) are transmitted through buildings’ electrical wiring via modems. As a result of this transmission, the wires act as antennae and emit this high-frequency energy. The frequency of such energy ranges from 2 MHz to around 80 MHz. Many radio communications services, including security-related ones, can be disturbed by the energy emitted by the modems when receiving signals in the current frequency range. End-users and radio-communications users hardly ever realise what actually happens in the radio spectrum.

What action is the Commission taking to prevent such undesirable effects?

1. What kinds of continuous checks are carried out on the laboratory test conditions to ensure they are really able to reflect end-user operation?

2. Does the Commission appreciate that powerline modems need to be tested to a significantly higher level to see if they really do comply with the standards in force?

3. To what extent (if any) are powerline modems in use by end-users spot-checked to ensure that they do not give rise to any undesirable effects?

Last updated: 11 March 2019
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