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Northeast Power Cooperative of Missouri Content with RAD Carrier Ethernet

July 14, 2011
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Carrier Ethernet is a hot topic as companies throughout the world are examining ways to ensure seamless operations and reliable failovers in the event of a major problem occurring. A number of companies seeking to make a change look to RAD DATA Communications, excited about what the company has to offer.

As captured in this recent video, Northeast Power is one tier in a three tier electric system in NE Missouri. It owns the substations and transmission lines in its area. There are six GNTs in the state of Missouri, and Associated Electric is the generation arm of the three tier system which supplies energy to eight distribution cooperatives in northeast Missouri and southeast Iowa. To better serve 62,000 meters in 21 counties, NE Power needed a proven Carrier Ethernet solution.

The operation of the SCADA (supervisor control and data acquisition) system requires live communication with the outlying stations. The overall area encompasses 10,000 square miles with live updates taking two seconds and analog updates received in four seconds. Communication forms the backbone of operations and delayed times are hurting productivity and efficiency.

RAD’s Carrier Ethernet solution was chosen because it complements efforts to convert the existing microwave TDM network to fiber-based Ethernet network. The Megaplex 2100 and 2104s carry legacy DSO circuits for 2-way radio and RTU circuits for neighboring utilities.

The Megaplex enables that to be taken up to Ethernet-move across the network-drop back out and hand off to the neighboring utility. Neighboring utilities across the Megaplex are still using 1200 baud modems on the ports on the RTUs at those locations which have the Megaplex 2104s.

There are currently 13 Megaplexes in service. With them, the cost per circuit or DSO using the layer 2 Ethernet network is less expensive than taking down from SONET to T1 or DS3 (or further). Instead, they are able to go straight from Megaplex to layer 2 Ethernet and roll the traffic anywhere on the network.

The Megaplex is valued for several reasons: cost, features, remote access and RAD support. Since they are under warranty, RAD takes care of any issues in a timely fashion. Megaplex pseudowire technology fits the bill and performs as advertised, allowing any circuit anywhere on the network to be delivered to any other port on the network that has a Megaplex box.

It can also hand off at meet points to neighboring utilities. In terms of deployment, feature sets and remote access, all are enhanced by RAD and its carrier Ethernet support and training for competency and programming. Service issues are promptly addressed by RAD, to ensure the optimal experience for the customer.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin
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