Implementing Smart Grid Communications Managing Mountains of Data Opens Up New Challenges for Electric Utilities

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Executive Summary

Electric utilities continue to be among the largest users of privately owned and operated Wide-Area Networks (WANs) for communications. These networks include a hybrid mix of technologies including fiber optics, power line carrier systems, copper-wire line, and a variety of licensed and unlicensed wireless technologies. The utility WAN is designed to support applications vital to the safe and reliable operation of the electric utility mission-critical infrastructure: protective relaying for high voltage lines, SCADA/EMS, mobile fleet voice and data dispatch, generating plant automation, distribution feeder automation and physical security.

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