EUTC, TCCA sign MoU as utilities look to boost connectivity

Friday, 29 November, 2019

EUTC, TCCA sign MoU as utilities look to boost connectivity

Information around critical mobile broadband development is set to flow more freely between the European Utilities Telecom Council (EUTC) and The Critical Communications Association (TCCA) under a newly signed memorandum of understanding (MoU).

The agreement is intended to support critical communications advancement and help the utilities sector boost connectivity needed for future smart grids.

“The evolution of robust, cost-effective energy smart grids is imperative to facilitate the most efficient use of renewable energy sources in our collective attempts to minimise the environmental impact of energy use in domestic, industrial and transportation sectors,” EUTC Technical Director Julian Stafford said.

“However, this increased use of renewable energy must not impact the reliability of our energy grids — and for that to work out we need massively increased visibility and control or a very widely distributed asset base where currently no meaningful connectivity exists.”

Utilities currently use a variety of connectivity types, including copper, fibre and narrowband radio, which won’t readily scale to meet smart power grids’ increasing connectivity needs, according to TCCA.

The “secure communications fabric can ideally be supported by network technology based on the standards generated as part of the LTE release of definitions, built and operated in a tightly controlled manner”, Stafford said.

“The demands of the utility sector in development of these solutions have substantial areas of overlap with the work which is being carried out by TCCA and other stakeholders, driven by the needs of public safety users.

“The MoU with TCCA will allow sharing of valuable technical expertise regarding the deployment of mission-critical broadband wireless systems and will provide mutual benefits for members of both communities. The MoU also recognises the intrinsic link between the availability of electricity, water and gas and public safety.”

TCCA Chief Executive Tony Gray said, “It is essential that critical national infrastructure networks have access to the best available technology and security features to ensure seamless operations.

“With this MoU in place we can learn more about the specific needs of these users as critical broadband services develop, and share our members’ expertise with EUTC to enable a wider knowledge base and a stronger ecosystem.”

Pictured: EUTC Technical Director Julian Stafford (left), TCCA Chief Executive Tony Gray (centre) and TCCA Critical Communications Broadband Working Group Chairman Tero Pesonen.

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