• 18 JUN 13
    • 2

    Will smart meters also be providing municipal Wi-FI?

    Imagine this: You get an official letter from your local government authority notifying you that the government has decided to provide a free Wi-Fi network throughout the municipality and as part of the roll-out you are going to have a Wi-Fi transmitter installed on your home without your consent. This would be a sure way to provoke widespread public outrage if introduced in this manner. However, if the following comes to fruition, this is exactly what will happen. Now your smart meter will be transmitting even more frequently depending upon how many people are using the Wi-Fi network at any given time. AND you will have no say in how your home is used.

    Death by a thousand cuts……..

    Don
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    From Smart Grid Australia

    US smart grid networks exploiting infrastructure to provide wireless broadband

    The USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has now spent the $250 million committed for smart grid technologies. To this has been added an additional $201 million in funding approved by the Agriculture Secretary to electricity utilities in eight states to install smart grid technologies and improve their generation and transmission facilities. The beneficiaries are spread among a large number of states.

    This investment is helping smart grids to become the norm across the country. A side benefit is that utilities are also developing their smart grids for telecoms over and above that used by meters to send data to network controllers.

    As an example, earlier this year the utility serving Santa Clara began using its smart grid technology and infrastructure to deliver free citywide outdoor WiFi. While meters send data via an existing wireless network, a separate channel is used to provide outdoor internet access. The WiFi network is growing in scope and reach as more premises are equipped with smart meters.

    The potential for expanding WiFi coverage is huge. There are about 120 municipalities with citywide WiFi networks accessible to the general public. In addition, there are about 60 cities with citywide or near citywide coverage though these networks are now limited to government applications, such as public safety. There are also about 80 or more cities with large outdoor WiFi areas, mostly located in parks and downtown zones.

    A hindrance to cities aiming to develop comprehensive WiFi networks has come from the powerful telecoms industry, which employs its lobbying clout to push for laws blocking or preventing municipalities from offering WiFi or fixed broadband services.

    The use of smart meters to provide WiFi using existing (and expanding) infrastructure presents a separate challenge, since the telcos would have to battle utilities rather than municipal governments.

    http://www.pams.com.au/DEMO/StaticContent/Images/SGA/130614_GenSGA_eFlash.htm

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