T&D World Magazine

Location Intelligence Enables Utilities to Enhance BPL Networks

MapInfo Corporation has introduced a suite of solutions designed to provide electric utilities with a comprehensive view of their networks, customers and potential customers as they enter the rapidly increasing broadband over power line (BPL) market. Using many of the same core technologies from MapInfo for location intelligence in the communications industry, electric utility providers can now better evaluate and deploy new revenue sources such as Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP), advanced video services and broadband access.

"Broadband over power line technology, which moves data at roughly the same speed as cable or DSL lines, provides new capabilities to the nation's power grid, especially as demand for premium data services continues to skyrocket. BPL represents a major profit potential for power utilities," said Christopher Cherry, strategic industry manager for communications at MapInfo. "At the same time, utility companies are now faced with the unprecedented challenge of understanding an entirely new set of residential and business demographics, market boundaries and rate centers. MapInfo enables these utilities to be location intelligent, giving them an automatic advantage when it comes to finding success in these new untapped markets."Based on industry-proven location intelligence offerings including MediaPrints, RateCenterInfo, PSAP Pro, MapMarker Plus and StreetPro, MapInfo technology lends itself to virtually every aspect of BPL planning. For example, utilities can geographically identify areas that are underserved by competing providers but have favorable demographics, such as rural areas where access to traditional broadband has lagged. Companies can also determine, based on demographics, where existing customers are likely to take advantage of new, more profitable services of products, and then overlay aerial photography to make more accurate design and planning decisions. As network complexity grows, MapInfo can help utility companies accurately design E-911 trunking relationships for VoIP, manage market and node boundaries and predict future demand for new products and services, resulting in maximized return on network investments and targeted sales and marketing campaigns.

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