Here Comes the Sun

 

Friday, March 30, 2018

In D.C., spring has finally sprung, and the sun is coming out! It seems as if in a matter of a couple of days, we have gone from snow, freezing temperatures and barren trees limbs to sun, temps in the 70s and cherry blossoms blooming with a vengeance. While weather patterns are different depending on the region of the country (or the world) you live in, most of you can probably appreciate that moment when spring is finally at hand and the sun seems to take on more “blaze.” It’s a good feeling. I like being able to put away my winter coats (that are, at this point, desperately in need of another dry cleaning), pull out my trench coats, and start wearing open-toed shoes. I also like being able to ride my horse more often in the field rather than being confined to the ring. Whatever triggers those happy spring feelings for you, you know what I mean.

Interestingly, I will be headed next week to a place in the midst of fall — Rio de Janeiro — to attend the UTC America Latina (UTCAL) conference. I still have a bit of “cognitive disconnect” when I head to the southern hemisphere, but I do know this – even though they are in the fall with winter looming, the temperatures are still in the 80s and the sun is definitely shining. And, despite our seasonal differences, utilities share very similar challenges no matter which hemisphere they serve. UTCAL’s sessions focus on many of the same concerns as we will address at our UTC Telecom & Technology Conference in Palm Springs (another sunny place, thankfully!). Cybersecurity, edge of the grid challenges like the Internet of Things, and the convergence of OT and IT are just a few examples. And, the big one that we all share – access to reliable, interference-free spectrum. On this latter issue, UTCAL and UTC have partnered heavily in CITEL, the spectrum entity in the Americas, to educate on the needs of utility spectrum.

Globally, all of UTC’s entities have partnered to focus on global spectrum allocations for utilities. We will have a presence for the first time at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), with participation in the meetings of Working Group 5 in May and Working Group 1 in June. Our efforts in CITEL and in this arena would not be possible without this global partnership. I look forward to initiating this engagement at the ITU in partnership with UTCAL, in particular, but also with support from European UTC and UTC Canada. Brett Kilbourne of the UTC staff and Ronaldo Santarem of the UTCAL staff will represent us in this important forum.

The bottom line is, whether sunny or cloudy, cold or hot, we can “weather” (get it?) challenges like the need for reliable spectrum much better if we work together…until we meet again in Palm Springs!