This annual report offers a wealth of information on the worldwide development of Broadband Power Line. Information on a regional level is also provided for the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific. The report includes analyses, statistics and trends. It provides information and statistics on BPL development, including information on deployments. In particular the report examines BPL in terms of Smart Grids. Detailed technical information on BPL technology is also provided.
Subjects covered include:
BPL trends and developments;
Smart Grids and Energy Management;
Home Plug and Demand Side Management (DSM);
Technical information including architecture, standards, access systems and interference.
The telecoms developments in the utilities market have come full circle. In the 1980s the utilities started talking about DSM and looked towards telecoms facilities as a way to provide more utility applications. Twenty years later we have come full circle with telecoms (now broadband) again a focus of the utility sector. For more information, see chapter 1, page 1.
Smart grid applications
For utilities companies:
Outage identification and reporting;
Automated electric and water meter reading (AMR);
Demand response management;
Video surveillance through BPL-enabled video cameras placed on the power grid;
Street light management;
Solar power system that integrates energy storage technologies, load measurement and control devices and renewable energy sources;
Line sag detection, to remotely sense when distribution lines drop to potentially hazardous heights.
Home energy management;
Internet access and standard ISP service;
Voice over IP telephone service;
Security and intelligent home service through an always on, monitored wireless system.
(Source: BuddeComm 2007)
Looking to the future, utilities cannot fail to see the potential business opportunities in the telecommunications market as their Customer Access Network (CAN) infrastructure has a similar coverage to that of the incumbent telco. Utilities are uniquely positioned to roll out state-of-the-art broadband networks by leveraging off their existing infrastructure. Utilities are also unhampered by the legacy of a large copper-based network. For more information, see chapter 2, page 21.
Around the world in 2007 around 100 commercial BPL trials are taking place (similar to 2006), with around a third of these under way in the US.
In the US, despite imposing competition from cable and fibre deployments, there remains positive interest in BPL, most recently with DIRECTV alluding to possible trials. For more information, see chapter 4.2.1, page 36.
In Canada, BPL deployments are relatively rare with most commercial BPL deployments being in the form of low-voltage BPL solutions within hotels. For more information, see chapter 4.2.2, page 37.
Power line reached some 450,000 European households in mid-2007, yet the number of people taking broadband through technology remained small, at around 30,000. For more information, see chapter 4.4.1, page 40.
In most African countries, the power grids connect far more households than the fixed-line telephone networks, potentially creating a huge market for Power Line Communication (PLC) based services. For more information, see chapter 4.5.1, page 42.