Briefly Noted: Updates, Observations and Trends
Each month, we collect miscellaneous happenings, studies, trends or observations you might have missed. This month's briefs focus on why Cablevision 101 is definitely not for beginners; rural telehealth networks; and why keeping up with smart grid projects must be a full time job.
University courses labeled 101 are usually the introduction to a subject, but for Cablevision 101 has an entirely different meaning. 101 is the advertised speed in Mbps for Cablevision's new DOCSIS 3.0 enabled Optimum Online Ultra. The service provides 101 Mbps downstream and 15 up, at a price of $99.95 a month. ( www.cablevision.com )
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced approval of funding under its Rural Health Care Pilot Program (RHCPP) for the build-out of five broadband telehealth networks that will link hospitals regionally in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Funding was also approved for the design of a telehealth project in Alaska. Collectively, these six projects are eligible to receive $46 million in reimbursement for the engineering and construction of their regional telehealth networks. ( www.fcc.gov )
U.S. Smart Grid Roadmaps and Standards
The U.S. news has been full of initiatives to create roadmaps and standards for Smart Grid interoperability. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are developing an "interim roadmap" intended to be a major step toward harmonizing interoperability standards for the Smart Grid. The roadmap effort is part of a three-phase NIST Smart Grid program that also includes establishing an ongoing public-private partnership and developing a certification and accreditation process for the technology. ( www.epri.com ) ( www.nist.gov )
There are a host of organizations involved with various aspects of Smart Grid, including The GridWise Architecture Council, which has membership from leading technology and utility firms; the IEEE, which has started Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Project P2030; the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA); and NOSI (Nonprofit Open Source Initiative). The bottom line is there's lots going on -- how these efforts are related and come together (or don't) looks like a major research project! ( www.gridwiseac.org ) ( www.ieee.org ) ( www.nema.org )