Washington Utility Selects Exalt for Microwave Backhaul (7/15/11)
Friday, July 15, 2011 | Comments

Grays Harbor Public Utility District (GHPUD), a public utility based in Aberdeen, Wash., deployed Exalt Communications microwave backhaul systems to carry critical supervisory control and data acquisition (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 9-1-1 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 because they carry both native time division multiplexing (TDM) and IP traffic.

“Our operations depend on the reliable flow of information throughout our network, and we wanted microwave backhaul systems that we could deploy and depend on,” said Mark Forsman, communications foreman at GHPUD.

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 scalability for new applications and traffic over time.

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