Strategic Communications Plan

At its highest level, a Strategic Communications Plan (SCP) is a utility’s vision for both present and future programs that require an integrated communications infrastructure. An SCP assesses overall IT/OT infrastructure needs for today’s applications and tomorrow’s programs. It helps envision connectivity solutions for offices, towers, substations, mobile communications, and feeder applications while ensuring all departmental stakeholder requirements are met.

For decades, PSE has guided our utility clients through technology and application deployments, including choosing the best communications solutions to meet strategic goals and many of our communications projects begin with a utility-wide SCP. Creating an SCP is a multi-step process, which ultimately defines a communications deployment strategy that will meet the utility’s overall vision and strategy for at least the next 10 years.

Elements of our SCP include:

  • Review of backbone architecture modernization plans
    • Outline how to migrate from TDM to ethernet communications
    • Compare fiber, microwave, and other communications alternatives
  • Outline substation communications scalability
  • Detail field area network (FAN) for AMI, DER, and DA backhaul options
  • Outline security and bandwidth requirements for the network
  • Review leased vs ownership advantages and disadvantages
  • Develop detailed costs, risk analysis, and resource requirements for the new system
  • Prepare a multi-year communications deployment roadmap that includes annual budgetary costs

SCP benefits include:

  • Increasing stakeholder participation
  • Justifying the procurement of more dynamic communications infrastructure
  • Spreading the communications capital expenditures across multiple applications
  • Reducing overall recurring communications costs
  • Risk avoidance from not planning for scalability

Our Strategic Communications Plan Experts

Tom Asp

Consultant in Utility Automation and Communications

Eric Wirth

Manager of SCADA & Communications

Jim Weikert

Vice President of Utility
Automation & Communications

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