In this day and age, the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought new meaning to the word “connected”. All over the world, machine to machine (M2M) communication has made possible improvements to citizen safety, efficiency, and sustainability on an unheard of scale. And many of those enhancements are increasingly being utilized by utilities to increase customer satisfaction.
In order to drive that customer satisfaction, utilities need to be smart. According to Randolph Wheatley, Sensus’ VP of Communications Solutions Marketing, “At its foundation, a smart utility has integrated capabilities that enable it to effectively gather information about the resources it provides and the network it uses.” But smart doesn’t just happen; it requires a communications network that can enable that potential. Here, then, are 10 principles to consider when implementing a future-proof utility network.
- Build for longevity
Show network value as part of the solution years after deployment.
- Secure your data
Maintain cybersecurity vigilance through encryption, layered defenses, and FCC-licensed spectrum.
- Perform preventative maintenance
Extend the life of the network through regularly scheduled inspections and upgrades.
- Safeguard your infrastructure
Build resilience by protecting network technology against extreme weather and natural hazards.
- Increase reliability
Overlap coverage to provide backup in the event that a primary system fails.
- Reduce obsolescence
Evolve with rapidly advancing technology that is critical in today’s fast-paced world.
- Plan ahead
Anticipate and prepare for the future to ensure unforeseen problems are kept to a minimum.
- Review life cycle benefits
Consider the tough to quantify, long-term benefits of the network during periodic reviews.
- Promote advantages
Educate stakeholders on the benefits, advantages and capabilities that the network offers.
- Monitor and manage your bandwidth
Prepare for ever-increasing volumes of data that drive expansion and new applications.
At its foundation, a smart utility has integrated capabilities that enable it to effectively gather information about the resources it provides and the network it uses.— Randolph Wheatley, Sensus’ VP of Communications Solutions Marketing