DEA has deployed a fully integrated IP network to 26 substation sites. An IP based network transports data information for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Load Management systems. A private Wide Area Network (WAN) was implemented by DEA in 2001 due to lack of comprehensive coverage by major carriers.
In addition to the WAN, DEA relies on commercial services to communicate with load management receivers via paging technology and smart meters via phone lines.
The rural environment, which covers a significant portion of our service area, and substations in particular present challenges. Carriers and telephone companies build to mass markets not the more rural area Even in mass market areas, no carrier provides 100% coverage. Substations are hazardous electrical environments and thus require expensive and complex protection systems for wire line communications. This has lead DEA to rely heavily on wireless systems.
Public carrier systems and sharing of spectrum on public frequencies with others has proved unreliable in the past. Public wireless network performance degrades over time as public adoption increases. Public wireless networks are also susceptible to failure