Command & Control Communications at the Heart of Utilities Worldwide

Zetron Australasia Pty Ltd
Tuesday, 07 May, 2024

Command & Control Communications at the Heart of Utilities Worldwide

Electricity, natural gas, water, wastewater, telecommunications, and Internet connectivity are all public utilities often taken for granted in our everyday lives — until, that is, one or more of them fails.

Nothing provides better or more perspective on how much we rely on our core utilities than when an outage forces us to go without, even for a brief period. The impact is immediate, widespread and sometimes devastating.

Utilities providers obviously have an important job. And while it’s easy to take it for granted, most consumers don’t understand the extraordinary complexity of the infrastructures, networks and communications that must be skilfully and continuously managed by utilities organisations to “keep the lights on”.

From handling incoming subscriber calls and issues, to managing critical field operations, personnel, and the massive amount of data constantly being processed at the command centre, the role of utilities providers is complicated, but essential. To effectively maintain operations and services, utilities need an efficient communications centre, capable of processing a myriad of information quickly and seamlessly — continuously connecting the right people and the right data 24/7/365.

The infrastructure complexity of utilities demands providers to continuously reinvest in cutting-edge technologies, while maintaining optimal levels of security, safety and customer service. And each utilities organisation has unique operational and data management challenges, so there are no “one size fits all” solutions.

But command and control solutions that are purpose-built to centralise communications, optimise workflows, and streamline resource management provide numerous long-term positive outcomes for utilities organisations.

ACOM Command & Control (ACOM) is an example of a completely customisable and flexible system that adapts with the evolving needs of utilities providers and offers operational benefits in many areas, including:

  • Monitoring and Control: real-time access to data enables faster and more informed decision-making.
  • Reliability: minimise downtime, prevent service disruptions, and improve overall infrastructure resilience.
  • Asset Management: collection and storage of data to optimise maintenance schedules, reduce costs and extend the lifespan of assets.
  • Energy Efficiency: hub for Smart meters, sensors and communications networks to provide detailed information on energy consumption patterns that help consumers and businesses make better energy usage decisions.
  • Cybersecurity and Data Protection: secure communication protocols and encryption to help safeguard sensitive data, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of critical information.

These benefits and more are being realised by Powerco, New Zealand’s second largest utility provider, and one of many utilities providers using the ACOM communications system. As Powerco’s needs were changing, emergency communications in particular had become an issue. They were using an RT (radiotelephone) system with limited reach, making it hard for fault staff to keep in contact with the control centre. Powerco then installed the ACOM Command & Control system to drive the company’s 32-position console system and complement its fleet of Hytera DMR Tier 3 VHF radios. Since deploying the new ACOM system, Powerco operators have increased overall call handling efficiency by 50–70%.

ACOM systems are tailored to suit the specific needs of utilities control operations, providing the flexibility to respond to diverse field requirements. To learn more about ACOM Command & Control or request a demo, visit

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