Thursday, 21 October 2010

Smart meters need single network, say BT partners

The government should go for a single, long-range radio-based network,
separate it from existing networks, and classify it as critical national
infrastructure, says the SmartReach consortium in its submission on the UK's
£10bn smart meter project.

The consortium, which consists of BT, Arqiva and Detica, was responding to
government calls for ideas on how to equip 26 million premises with 47
million new smart meters for gas and electricity. The aim is to cut energy
use and lower the country's CO2 emissions by 2.6 million tonnes a year.

SmartReach is pitching for the network that would link all the meters to
central or regional processing centres.

It said a single network would cut costs compared to having several service
provider contracts, and would reduce system integration risks. It called for government to speed up deployment plans and to do things in
parallel. Procurement should start in early 2011, it said. This would reduce
risk by allowing more time for procurement and testing. It would also speed
up returns on investment and carbon savings.

SmartReach said existing mobile networks might reach only 70% of households.
It would be expensive for them to reach the other 30%, it said.

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