Utilities Face the End of Analog

Engage Power Lines

Utilities Face the End of Analog

The FCC is currently embarking on the biggest communication transformation in more than a century. Dubbed the IP transition, it involves getting rid of the old analog telephone network we’ve used for decades and transitioning to IP-based communication services.

The transition is due to lobbying by major telecommunications companies including AT&T, who see the old analog systems as costly and inefficient compared to Internet-based communications.

So what does this mean for Utilities? A lot. With the end of leased telecom circuits comes the end of reasonably proven, reliable data circuits that Utilities have depended on for decades for operational data and control. AT&T current only has to give 120 days notice to discontinue a service and the IP transition is set to be complete in 2020. This gives Utilities a very small window of time to transition their network operations.

The fact is, “Utilities expose themselves to substantial risk when they continue to rely on Telco’s existing circuits,” says the UTC white paper, IP Network Transitions.

“The time to initiate efforts to manage the migration, if not already in motion, is now,” the report accurate states.

So what is the most effective migration strategy to IP networks? It depends of course on a Utilities needs. Yet most utilities can migrate their SCADA communication from end of life analog circuits to Ethernet based LAN/WAN/MAN wired and wireless networks.

Engage’s IP-Tube is an innovative and cost effective solution that enables utilities to connect network elements, protect critical circuits and secure network traffic and cryptographic keys. Engage IP Tube:

  • Transports legacy SCADA protocols transparently
  • Seamless bridging between Substations and Redundant Data Centers
  • Supports mix of data rates, protocols, Async/Sync, multiple Timeslots
  • Retain existing RTUs & Channel Banks, eliminating costly field re-wiring


For more information on how Engage IP Tube helps Utilities, check out our Utility page


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