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Designers of fiber networks for electric utilities and communities.

News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Some of the topics we cover:

  • ADSS cable technology
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  • Powerline broadband
  • Fixed wireless broadband
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Tuesday, May 20, 2003


IEEE approves new standard for communications networking within substations

IEEE approves new standard for communications networking within substations

“The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association Standards Board has approved the new standard, IEEE 1613 (TM), "Standard Environmental and Testing Requirements for Communications Networking Devices in Electric Power Substations."

Article in Cabling Installation and Maintenance magazine

Separately, the IEEE has opened balloting on a related standard, IEEE 1590 “Recommended Practice for the Electrical Protection of Optical Fiber Communication Facilities Serving, or Connected to, Electrical Supply Locations"

These standards sound boring and arcane but they are important to any community broadband network that makes use of a municipal or coop-owned power grid. Whether the system used is FTTH (fiber to the home), powerline broadband or fixed wireless, almost all of these systems tie back to utility substations as major nodes in a network. Utility substations are complex, electrically noisy and hostile environments for unhardened communications gear. Communications designers have to be familiar with the unique requirements for locating communications gear in this environment, which is one reason (among many) that communications design in a power utility environment tends to be something of a specialty. If you are developing a community broadband network that relies on a power utility infrastructure, make sure your designer is familiar with these standards (along with other IEEE standards such as 524, 1222 and 1138). If they’re not already familiar — get a new designer.

For more information on relevant IEEE standards, see the Fiber Planners links page.


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