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2005 Silver Medal for Scientific/Engineering Achievement


Four staff members of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) in Boulder, Colo., received a Silver Medal for Scientific/Engineering Achievement from the U.S. Department of Commerce at ceremonies in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.

Electronics engineers Brent Bedford of Boulder, Nicholas DeMinco of Boulder, J. Randy Hoffman of Longmont, and Yeh Lo of Broomfield received a group silver medal for performing measurements and developing models to quantify aspects of Broadband over Power Line (BPL) emissions. This accomplishment supports the Commerce Department's efforts to make broadband access affordable and available for all Americans.

BPL provides broadband Internet by transmitting radio signals over regular electrical power lines. As the principal advisor to the President on telecommunications policy, NTIA was tasked to analyze technical risks and develop the standards and rules needed to advance BPL at the urging of the White House, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Working in coordination with the FCC, NTIA designed a plan to address concerns about BPL interference. Bedford, Hoffman, and Lo performed field measurements to determine whether BPL emits radio signals, and if so, at what level the signals are emitted and how much of the time they are present. Then DeMinco developed models to predict the amount of BPL emissions coming off power lines.

ITS is the research and engineering laboratory of NTIA. ITS performs telecommunications research to support NTIA and Commerce Department goals. NTIA serves as the principal adviser to the Executive Branch on domestic and international telecommunications and information policy issues.

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