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United Telecom Council offers expert information on the market for Broadband over Power Line (BPL) development as it approaches a critical juncture in both large-scale commercial deployments and smart- grid applications. UTC, together with its affiliate United Power Line Council (UPLC) and consulting firm SHS Technologies, examines these opportunities and presents the most complete, accurate and up-to-date information about the state of this industry. Findings show BPL not only as an excellent means to providing commercial services, but also an effective way for utilities to better manage their distribution grids.
The study – the fifth report on BPL by UTC - ties BPL into broader energy industry opportunities and issues such as utility reliability, broadband competition and submarket potential including in-building and next- generation infrastructure. Unlike other offerings, this report gathers information directly from the field, from specific technology providers as well as from UTC’s and UPLC’s membership base of both utilities and vendors. As a result, Opportunities for Electric Utilities: Broadband over Power Lines 2006, provides enlightened and specific recommendations based on real-life trends.
Once clarity is achieved on BPL standards and regulatory issues, BPL will move forward rapidly in North America, based upon the following factors:
The most striking conclusion of the study is that BPL will serve as a near term solution for some of the nation’s long-term energy policy objectives, such as the energy independence and electric reliability that policymakers hope to achieve by 2010. The report concludes that BPL is a possible “perfect solution” for load management, particularly when pulling double duty for other smart-grid applications such as remote monitoring and predictive maintenance. As such, UTC recommends that utilities plan the automation of their distribution system and the selection of a communications system as a single integrated project, rather than implementing a series of unconnected “islands of automation”. In this scenario, BPL has a secure place in the future of utility communications, whether as a stand-alone system or used in conjunction with other traditional and emerging technologies such as fiber optic and wireless systems.
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