OG&E deploys fibre for grid automation

  • April 19, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) is upgrading the resiliency and capacity of its communications network backbone to accommodate grid automation and mitigate risk of wireless interference on the traditional microwave system.

Local company Dobson Fiber will build approximately 560km of new fibre and leverage over 960km of Dobson’s existing network to connect key infrastructure.

“This exciting initiative is representative of our overall approach to grid enhancement, which is to find the best means of improvement for the greatest value for our customers,” said OG&E CEO Sean Trauschke. “Working with Dobson Fiber enables us to leverage their extensive expertise to future-proof our communications network while saving more than 60 per cent over standard deployment costs.”

As part of the utility’s continued grid enhancement efforts to deploy increased grid automation, monitoring and operational technologies, the agreement with Dobson will upgrade the OG&E network bandwidth from 150Mbit/s to 10Gbit/s. Network security and resiliency will be enhanced, and network reliability and uptime will be increased by adding redundancy using fibre, microwave and links to carrier networks. Moreover, it mitigates the risk of wireless interference as FCC regulations evolve.

“One of Dobson’s core strengths is building and maintaining fast and reliable fibre networks,” said Francisco Maella, CEO of Dobson Fiber. “We are thrilled to partner with OG&E to enhance their utility communications network backbone, manage the fibre network and access approximately 350 new miles of fibre in Oklahoma. This agreement furthers Dobson’s commitment to deploying fibre-based networks in all parts of the state, which is consistent with the state of Oklahoma’s initiative as well.”

OG&E is Oklahoma’s largest electric utility. For more than a century, it has provided users in Oklahoma and western Arkansas with electricity to power businesses and homes. OG&E has 7120MW of electric generation capacity fuelled by low-sulphur coal, natural gas, wind and solar.

Dobson Fiber owns and operates a more than 7200km regional fibre optic network and provides connectivity services including high-speed internet, data and cloud connectivity, and voice over internet telephony. It is an Oklahoma-based and privately owned telecommunication’s company.