June 17, 2019

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5G, Spectrum, Broadband, Grid Modernization Highlight UTC Annual Conference

Cybersecurity, utilities and 5G, grid modernization, spectrum access for wireless deployment, grid resilience, utilities’ rural broadband deployment, and the growing convergences between the energy and telecom sectors are among the several topics being discussed this week at UTC’s annual Telecom and Technology conference in Fort Worth, TX.

Hundreds of utility executives, engineers, vendors, and other utility and technology officials will participate in the highly anticipated event. Confirmed speakers include Joao Torres, CEO of EDP Distribuição of Portugal, Malia Hodges, CIO of Oncor Electric Delivery (the conference’s host utility), Energy Storage Association CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman, Common Ground Alliance President and CEO Sarah Magruder Lyle, and North American Transmission Forum CEO Tom Galloway.

In addition, Shawn Rhodes, a motivational speaker, will speak during the June 19 morning general session. Drawing from his experience in the battlefield and the boardroom, Mr. Rhodes will provide advice, insight, and perspectives on how utilities can best prepare for the major technological and policy changes that could disrupt the industry.

The conference is being held at the Fort Worth Convention Center in downtown Fort Worth. A complete agenda and program information is available here: www.utctelecom.org.

“The UTC Telecom & Technology Conference is the premier event focused on utilities’ information and communications technology needs to ensure highly reliable, safe, and affordable energy and water services now and into the future,” said UTC President and CEO Joy Ditto. “From the policy implications to the technical specifications to the business decisions surrounding these issues, the UTC conference will give attendees the tools to tackling these ICT opportunities and challenges head-on. We also provide numerous platforms throughout the conference to establish relationships with trusted ICT vendors and consultants. This is a must-attend event!”

At the center of the conference is a general session on Wednesday, June 20, featuring CEOs and senior leadership including Mr. Torres of EDP Distribuição of Portugal, Ms. Hodges of Oncor, Ms. Speakes-Backman of the Energy Storage Association, EPRI, the Smart Electric Power Alliance, Mr. Galloway of the North American Transmission Forum, and Ms. Lyle of the Common Ground Alliance. Panelists will discuss how critical utility communications networks are to the resilience, safety, reliability, and future of the grid.

T&T Spotlight: Educational Tracks, User Group Sessions Set for Annual Conference

T&T is here!

Our agenda is online–check out our eight awesome, packed educational tracks:

  • SCADA, AMI, & Utility Automation
  • Data for Innovation
  • Converged Systems for Smarter Communities
  • Business Drivers of Telecom Infrastructure
  • Telecom Options for Utility Operations
  • Utility Assets & Broadband Options
  • Connected Security Solutions
  • Utility Spectrum Policies

The educational tracks start on Wednesday, June 19.

In addition, we’ve got a host of trainings, 101s, and user groups scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

Here is some information about two user-group trainings being held on Tuesday, June 18:

  • IEEE 802.16s – Informational Meeting—3-5 p.m.
    • IEEE 802.16s is a standard that was ratified and published by the IEEE in fall 2017 for use by mission-critical industries in narrower channel bands utilities have access to (such as 700 MHz A band, 217 – 219 MHz, 1.4 GHz, etc.). This is the only standard technology for these spectrum bands. Since its publication in fall 2017, user requirements and technology advancements bring about the opportunity to make enhancements to the standard such including narrower channel sizes, such as 12.5 KHz, spectrum aggregation, and others. Additionally IEEE 802.16s is being used by other mission critical industries such as oil & gas, rail, and government/military bringing about a larger ecosystem and interest from other industries and other manufacturers. This meeting will provide a high-level overview of the standard and what future enhancements may warrant being worked on. We then will dive into user requirements and technical details which will provide the framework for the IEEE Project Authorization Request (PAR) which is the first step in bringing the standard back to the IEEE.
  • Nokia is offering two workshops, both exclusively for utility personnel and will be held in room 201A in the Fort Worth Convention Center.
    • Bell Labs Future X architecture for power utilities – 3:00 – 3:55 pm
    • New business models with fiber – 4:05 – 5:00 pm
    • Seating is limited. Register now to reserve your seat.

Click here for all the information you need https://utctelecom.org/.

T&T Spotlight: UPDATE! Resolution Added Acknowledging Critical Relationship Between Canadian-US Utilities

Have you designated your voting representative for this week’s Telecom & Technology policy resolution forum in Fort Worth?

For the second time, UTC is initiating a policy resolution process to strengthen our advocacy efforts in Washington. Our next set of resolutions will be voted on during the Membership Meeting on Thursday, June 20, in Fort Worth. Only UTC core member utilities are eligible to vote.

Under our process, UTC core utility members must designate 1 (one) person to cast your entity’s vote. Please be sure you have discussed this with your colleagues who are attending Telecom & Technology next month.

Any resolutions approved at the annual Telecom & Technology meeting will be considered official UTC policy and will inform the association as it advocates for its members in Washington and elsewhere.

Additionally, because the resolutions are not final, edits and amendments can still be made.

UTC core voting members will vote on the following issues:

Please contact the UTC Public Policy Team with any questions.

T&T Spotlight: Smart Systems for Smarter Communities Symposium

The Smart Systems for Smarter Communities Symposium, at UTC’s Telecom & Technology conference, is presented by the IT/OT Committee and sponsored by Black & Veatch. This symposium will explore how utilities can help shape, influence and create smarter communities.

The symposium features three smart community use cases:

  • Connected Communities: How utilities’ existing infrastructure can enable smart communities
  • Decentralization: Empowering utilities’ role in microgrids and self-generation
  • Utility Data: How utilities can benefit from a data-driven smart community

Each of the three use cases will have a presentation that includes an overview of the topic, technology demonstrations, and a lively Q&A. The presentations will be offered twice each at a special area on the Expo Hall floor.

The purpose of the symposium is to dive deeper into utility participation in smart communities. The content presented for each use case is meant to encourage discussion among utility and technology partner attendees: how they can together lead and serve smart communities well into the future. Utilities have much to offer to smart communities. And smart communities have much to offer to utilities.

All UTC members are invited to participate in Smart Systems for Smarter Communities – to help develop content for the three use cases, and to demonstrate hardware or software that can support any of those use cases.

If you are interested to participate in Smart Systems for Smarter Communities, please contact us via email or phone: +1.202.833.6811.

Upcoming Events

A snapshot of upcoming UTC webinars, events, and conference calls