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ITU approves new worldwide smart grid standards

New ITU standards for smart grid have achieved final approval and are now available for download. Recommendations ITU-T G.9955and G.9956 define three international next generation narrowband powerline communications (NB-PLC) standards. The approved family of standards will enable cost-effective smart grid applications such as distribution automation, diagnostic and fault location, smart metering, demand response, energy management, smart appliances, grid-to-home communications and advanced recharging systems for electric vehicles.

The next-generation NB-PLC transceivers defined in the ITU standards family are optimized for the various topologies and characteristics of power grids around the world. Standardized transceivers will provide a ‘smart’ link between electricity and communications networks through their support of the use of power lines as a communications medium. PLC exploits electricity networks’ existing wired infrastructure, greatly reducing the cost of deploying a dedicated communications channel.

Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General, ITU: “The approved ITU NB-PLC family of international standards will be a fundamental building block for realizing a robust smart grid anywhere in the world, and will allow utilities to start immediate deployment of NB-PLC on a worldwide basis.”

More info here.

Broadband drives the Internet of Things

The broadband world is taking shape and, as it does so, experts are carefully crafting predictions of what it will look like and what applications it will carry. Video – the application currently most hungry for bandwidth – is inevitably high up the list, and on a global level, will make gigantic demands on current network capacity. But broadband may likewise support another dimension of connectivity entirely: machine to machine communications, or M2M.

M2M is an idea whose time has come. Thanks to innovations in areas like smart sensors and RFID chips, inanimate objects are increasingly becoming part of the network as a so-called ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). Underlying both acronyms is a basic concept: using the Internet to transpose the physical world onto the networked one. IoT/M2M makes everyday objects ‘smart’ and context-aware. In doing so, it offers significant economic benefits and a huge range of new possibilities, because smart objects can sense their surroundings and respond to them without the need for human intervention.

Read the full report here.