FCC Issues Two Citations in Longstanding Power Line Noise Case
The Federal Communication Commission's Dallas Field Office issued Citations on July 25 to two utilities in a longstanding power line noise case in Lubbock, Texas. Bryan Edwards, W5KFT, of Lubbock, first reported the interference concerning the two involved utilities, Lubbock Power & Light (LP&L) and Xcel Energy, as early as 1994. The record shows that the FCC Dallas Field Office
clarified the FCC rules with regard to power line noise for LP&L as early as 1998, and issued three letters to LP&L in 2003 and 2004. Xcel Energy was first issued an FCC letter in 2004.
The Citations to the Lubbock utilities said that due to an investigation conducted by the FCC's Dallas office on May 22-25, 2007, they found that both LP&L and Xcel ''caused harmful interference to the reception of amateur communications to amateur licensee W5KFT in Lubbock, Texas.'' The FCC directed both LP&L and Xcel, pursuant to the Commission's Rules, to provide documents and information within 10 days of their respective Citations.
In its undated Response to the FCC's Citation, LP&L stated that it ''does not admit to and specifically denies any violation of the [Communications] Act [of 1934] or any rule pertaining thereto,'' but ''in order to comply with the...Citation, the City of Lubbock files this response.'' As a result of the Citations issued by the FCC, LP&L's Response stated that representatives from ''Lubbock Power Light met with Paul Leonard, P.E., Area Engineer with Xcel Energy to discuss the alleged findings regarding harmful interference to the reception of amateur communications by amateur licensee W5KFT in Lubbock, Texas.''
Xcel's Response, submitted via their attorney, pointed out that the Citation acknowledges ''that the source of harmful interference to amateur licensee W5KFT is emanating from more than one power company.'' Xcel also alleges that it ''has been working with amateur W5KFT for a number of years in an effort to identify the source of, and a possible resolution for, the harmful interference he is experiencing. Xcel Energy has a good working relationship with the licensee and has coordinated with him on
numerous occasions in attempting to resolve his interference problems.''
Xcel goes on to assure the FCC that it will ''retain an outside technical consultant to provide an unbiased assessment of whether the harmful interference to W5KFT is attributable to Xcel Energy's power system and if so, what corrective measures would be required.'' Edwards reported that on Thursday, August 30, he received a phone call from Paul Leonard, head of Xcel Energy in West Texas. Edwards said he was told that Xcel has contracted with Mike Martin, K3RFI, to come out to Lubbock in October to work on the line noise.  ''Leonard said they tried to get LP&L to participate with them and Mike, but they refused to do so,'' Edwards said. Martin owns and operates RFI Services, a firm dedicated exclusively to RFI locating and training. He has been locating interference sources for more than 25 years, solving an average

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