Exalt Communications today announced that Grays Harbor Public Utility District (GHPUD), a public utility based in Aberdeen, Washington, has deployed Exalt microwave backhaul systems to carry critical SCADA and automated meter reading (AMR) traffic from its substations to its main data center. GHPUD provides electrical service to customers in northwestern Washington and its network also carries two-way radio and 911 voice traffic for Grays Harbor county agencies and Ethernet traffic for Internet service providers.
GHPUD uses a combination of fiber and microwave to link its 22 substations with its main data center. While microwave systems have been in use at GHPUD for a decade or more, the District’s technical staff was having reliability problems with legacy microwave systems at eight of the substations. The GHPUD team selected Exalt microwave systems for their reliability and because the Exalt systems can carry both native TDM and IP traffic.
As configured for GHPUD, the Exalt systems carry 100 megabits per second (Mbps) of Ethernet traffic and up to 11 T1 lines. While the amount of IP traffic on the network is relatively small at this point, the Exalt systems offer plenty of scalability for new applications and traffic over time.
Payback of a microwave system can be in months, according to Exalt (below).
The Grays Harbor PUD also has a fiber optic network that includes over 150 miles of line. The utility’s extra capacity from this system is made available by the Utility on a low-cost wholesale basis to companies who can provide end-user access to the communications network.