Case Studies:

Power Utility Replaces Leased Lines With Multi-Service Ethernet Solution

Overview

With the availability of Telco leased lines facing an uncertain future, Power Utility network managers are looking at alternative tools and transmission mediums for communications transport.

One Mid-Atlantic Power Utility, recently informed that Telco support for its leased lines would end soon, chose a multi-service Ethernet solution from TC Communications to connect analog modems/RTUs and SCADA communications between its central office and remote substations and gas gates.

Situation

The Power Utility had several requirements. At the top of its list was to find a hardened, future proof alternative to leased lines that would support 4/wire 600 ohm analog and run over existing WIMAX and planned fiber networks. It also wanted the option of adding RS232 and telephone in the near future.

Solution

After an extensive product search, they chose TC Communication’s JumboSwitch® Multi-Service Ethernet Platform for its “modularity and flexibility” and expect to deploy 80-100 nodes over the next two to three years. The JumboSwitch also fit their definition of "future proof" because of its inherent support for new applications, interfaces and transmission mediums.

Four different JumboSwitch® chassis sizes with hot-swappable analog cards were installed. Eventually, telephone (virtual PBX) and data cards will be added. For example, a 4U with 12 channels of 4/wire 600 ohm analog will be used at one central site and, depending on whether 2, 4 or 8 channels care required at each remote site, 1S, 1U and 2U chassis options will be used. See Application Diagram.

Results

The Telco’s transition to IP/fiber and away from leased lines and PSTN services is actually good news in the long run for Power Utility network managers. Alternative Ethernet/IP transport methods for analog services like the JumboSwitch offer several important benefits including:

  • Eliminating recurring telecom leased line costs
  • Increasing overall network reliability
  • Increasing network scalability for future growth
  • Adjusting latency on demand
  • Eliminating dependency on bandwidth providers

Featured Leased Line Replacement Products

Popular for leased line replacement applications, the model TC3846-6 Analog/Dry Contact-to- IP Gateway extends up to 4 channels of 600Ω 2/4 wire analog and dry contacts across Layer 2/3 Ethernet networks. It improves voice quality, increases radio system reliability, and stabilizes voice level settings for 600Ω audio channels.

If a user requires other interfaces options, the JumboSwitch® offers a wide variety of additional hot-swappable interfaces besides Analog over IP including Serial, VoIP, MoIP, Ethernet over OC-3/STM-1, G.703, DDS/56K over IP, C37.94, and T1/E1 or T3/E3 over Ethernet or vice versa.