Baby Come Back: A Few Basics of Data Backhaul (Utilimetrics News)

Andrew Alpert comments regarding data rates and the importance of establishing service-level agreements and making sure cost calculations are covered for the life of the project in data backhaul. “Andrew Alpert, director of the utility and energy consulting practice for Pace Harmon, counsels AMI planners to focus first on the effective data rates they’ll need, not necessarily on the theoretical bandwidth of the AMI and backhaul solutions…Alpert says, you need to have specific values established for the metric you plan to measure. On a network-availability metric, for instance it might be 99.9 percent of the time. Then, there has to be a measurement method to determine if that service level has been met, an interval established for taking the measurements — i.e. monthly — and performance credits levied when performance does not conform to the SLA. Alpert recommends you boil the SLA down to a handful of critical elements that are based on your business requirements...According to Alpert, WAN could easily make up some 10 percent of the entire cost of your AMI project. When calculating costs, he says that the volume of meters and LAN technology in place will determine the number of backhaul take-out points you need, but then you should include additional requirements for 1 percent to 5 percent of your meters, because that’s how much “hole filling” you may need to get 100 percent coverage for your deployment. On a bright note, Alpert adds that when negotiating rates from cellular providers, you should share the end-stage vision of your project — the point at which it includes mature demand-response programs, energy-management applications for consumers and other data-rich uses.”

Utilimetrics News