Fibre is good for you – Fibre optics providing the ‘eyes and ears’ of Powerco’s electricity network

Fibre is working hard around Powerco’s electricity network, relaying data back to our Network Operations Centre in New Plymouth - acting as the ‘eyes and ears’ of our network. 

Currently we have around 1,000km of fibre in use, with more to be rolled out in the future.

Using fibre enables us to receive much more data than previously possible, enabling us to leverage more modern and rich data sources, such as ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) devices.
Fibre allows that rich data to be relayed back to our team in real-time.

Examples of those smart devices include:

  • Our LoRaWAN network (which provides data via sensors collecting information on things like; power flow, temperature and weather).
  • Substation CCTV and on-demand video feeds.
  • Our VHF radio network which our contractors use to communicate with our Network Operations Centre.

The insight this data provides is then used to create a safer, more reliable and resilient network for our customers.

We’ve been rolling fibre out for some time now, deploying it to places we specifically wanted to collect data from to enable network performance improvements, or, installing it as a matter of course when we’re building or upgrading parts of our network - often when buying fibre from a third party as a service isn't available or practical. 

Developing our own fibre network also helps ensure that the information is kept safely and securely within our own systems.

GM Business Development Eric Pellicer says Aotearoa needs to be smart about how it thinks about the next generation of fibre investment, and we’re doing our part by finding ways to collaborate with telco providers to co-locate their services with our investments.

“Our network connects communities in some of the most beautiful parts of the North Island – and some of the most remote. Often, the economics just doesn't stack up for a single party to invest in getting fibre into these locations. This is where sharing infrastructure makes perfect sense,“ he says.

“Fibre like this, is ‘just glass’, which anyone can use to transmit data they need to places they need to get to. We’re good at building, owning and operating long-life assets like this and can act as a neutral broker for those wanting to use our assets to serve their customers. It also means our customers get a more secure, resilient and efficient use of capital. I’m excited about what fibre can do for our network, and for the communities we serve.”


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