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UU 301: Creating a Smart Utility Communications Roadmap for SCADA, AMI, DA, DER and Emerging IoT Applications

  • Room: 214D
  • Session Number:UU 301
Monday, January 27, 2020: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM


Rick Schmidt
Director of Infrastructure Modernization
Black & Veatch
United States
Greg McGovern
Lead Wireless Engineer
Black and Veatch
United States
Kevin Cornish
Senior Managing Director, Management Consulting
Black and Veatch
United States


Click here to register for a Utility University course.
This informative course provides a fresh, unbiased perspective of communication technologies for the critical backhaul of SCADA, AMI, DA, DER and emerging smart utility IoT applications.  The latest communications breakthroughs will be reviewed with case studies which will be used to enhance the learning outcomes.  Comparisons will be made regarding: latency, reliability, ease or challenge of obtaining end-point coverage, throughput potential, power requirements, typical pricing and several other characteristics while addressing the following:

  • What is 802.16s all about and what is the value proposition?
  • Is the ease, scalability and availability of commercial cellular the best long-term fit as your utility’s FAN or do private communications alternatives offer a stronger solution?
  • What is private LTE and what is driving growth?
  • Could private LTE become your AMI replacement technology?
  • How can AMI infrastructure be designed for mission critical DA and DER backhaul?  
  • What are the facts surrounding AMI as the backhaul for smart city/smart utility programs?
  • Now that 3G sun-setting has begun, what is the expected life-cycle of 4G and 5G?
  • What does 5G offer utilities for the backhaul of SCADA, AMI, DA and IoT?
  • What opportunities exist for utilities to build fiber optics to resell to the carriers to reach the future 5G micro-cell sites while also using the fiber for their own private needs? Does a wholesale fiber business model have merit for your utility?
  • Licensed narrowband/broadband at 220 MHz, 450 MHz, 700 MHz, and 900 MHz – where do these technologies beat the competition?
  • Is LoRa here to stay and where does it excel?
  • Your AMI is aging, your existing SCADA backhaul is also aging and your utility expects a huge uptick in new DA, DER and IoT endpoints, how do you study this?

Attendees will learn:

  • Allow the attendees to experience a fresh, unique understanding of the current state of Field Area Network Communications products and services.
  • Get the facts and clarify industry hype from reality.
  • Learn how to create a road map to address aging communications and automation infrastructure as well as how to expand into new grid modernization programs.

Knowledge, skills and/or capabilities that attendees should acquire through this course.

  • Learn about a methodology and process to study the complex area of the field area network.
  • Gain a new understanding of what typical performance related requirements are for new use cases such as street light control, new DA programs, DER backhaul, and more.
  • Upon completion you will be able to separate technology hype from technologies that are ready for a 2020 deployment.

Who should attend this course?  This course is targeted for a variety of skill sets and experience levels including the following:

  • Senior executives who are tasked with approving recommendations that involve smart utility infrastructure can benefit by learning about the trade-offs of different communication technologies and key questions they should be asking their staff.
  • Engineers who oversee SCADA, ADMS, DA, AMI and new DER programs that are now tasked with replacing their legacy communications infrastructure with the next generation communications.
  • Technology leaders who may have focused more on internal applications and are assigned to project teams that involve the WAN and FAN for the future selection or deployment of next generation communications infrastructure.
  • Project managers who may not be experts with communication technologies but will be involved with procuring, deploying or managing communication infrastructure projects.

Prerequisite skills, knowledge, certifications

  • All levels



For questions regarding the DISTRIBUTECH conference program please contact:  
Debbi Wells, CMP
Conference  Manager
Direct: 918-832-9265

For questions regarding the DISTRIBUTECH exhibit services please contact your Exhibit Services Manager at:
Direct: 253-212-2735

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