UTC Urges Government Officials to Address Utility Spectrum Crisis

The Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) delivered to top government officials a landmark analysis that urges policymakers to address a growing spectrum crisis among the nation’s critical service providers. This report, The Utility Spectrum Crisis: A Critical Need to Enable Smart Grids, demonstrates how America’s electric, gas and water utilities are operating under potentially damaging radio spectrum shortfalls, which in turn threaten the reliability of utility services and leave essential services vulnerable to external attacks.

Providers of essential services must have access to at least 30 MHz of dedicated radio spectrum to shore up these vulnerabilities and to advance widespread deployment of vital smart grid technology, UTC told lawmakers, regulators and other officials. “The nation’s critical infrastructure providers have labored for too long with too little spectrum and America deserves better, more reliable and more modern utility networks,” said William R. Moroney, President and CEO of the Utilities Telecom Council. “Without advanced communications capabilities, electric, gas and water companies will continue to struggle in their efforts to protect their networks and implement the innovative technologies that make up the smart grid.”

To free up the necessary spectrum, UTC has asked policymakers to put the U.S. on par with Canada, which has allocated 1800-1830 MHz to support its electric grid. UTC has also called on the FCC to act on a petition (FCC RM-11429) that would give critical infrastructure industries secondary access to additional frequencies as a means of easing spectrum pressure.

UTC’s report, The Utility Spectrum Crisis, extensively documents the spectrum needs and shortfalls utilities face. In particular the report explains how utilities need dedicated spectrum to:

  • Ensure more reliable service and faster restoration related to emergencies and natural catastrophes.
  • Protect electric utility networks from cyber-based terrorist attacks.
  • Implement the advanced technologies that make up the “smart grid,” thereby aiding energy efficiency and vastly superior network reliability. 

To receive a free copy of The Utility Spectrum Crisis: A Critical Need to Enable Smart Grids report, email legal@utc.org or call 202.872.0030.


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