The Infosys Utilities Blog seeks to discuss and answer the industry’s burning Smart Grid questions through the commentary of the industry’s leading Smart Grid and Sustainability experts. This blogging community offers a rich source of fresh new ideas on the planning, design and implementation of solutions for the utility industry of tomorrow.

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Smart Grid Hangover...continued

In the second of a series of blogs developed to address the "Smart Grid Hangover" Bill Fenstermaker discusses required investmests for the future of Smart Grid.

As the "Smart Grid Hangover" gives way to renewed analysis and scrutiny of new and ongoing capital investments required for Backhaul Infrastructure to support Smart Grid initiatives, it seems only natural for utilities to take a hard look at the massive investment that public wireless carriers in North America have already made in terms of infrastructure. And with the hype of 4G and the promise that this will bring to businesses and consumers in the next 3-5 years, I have to believe that at some point there will be a ceding of the need for control and management of the infrastructure by individual utilities to more of a shared risk model between these utilities and the public wireless carriers that have already deployed redundant infrastructure within their service territories. After all, why would a utility continue to heavily invest in Backhaul Infrastructure when in many cases it is a) already in place with significant failover and redundancy, and, b) an increasing number of the public wireless carrier(s) are more price-competitive than ever and willing to sign up for guaranteed SLA's with performance penalties. For those utilities stuck in the traditional meter reading mindset, there is clearly opportunity on the horizon. It will definitely be interesting to see how quickly this as well as other "disruptive" technological capabilities enter our markets in the coming years.

 

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