Poles, Smart Grid & Wireless Broadband

Poles may play a key role in supporting the National Broadband Plan and communications for Smart Grid

Wood poles and aerial plant supported America's first communications revolution more than one hundred years ago. Twenty-first century communications utilize fiber optic cable and wireless broadband to carry video, voice, and data. Surprising as it seems, many of the components in these modern digital networks are now and will continue to be located on poles in distribution systems.


The FCC's National Broadband Plan recognizes the importance of access to poles for siting distributed antennas and wireless equipment. There is general agreement and support among utility regulators and management for Smart Grid technology implementation. The communications architecture that will link customers' home area networks to utility IT systems may utilize private or public networks, such as Verizon Wireless, to bridge the data gap. Either choice will require the location of wide area network devices on poles, close to meters and existing systems. One large eastern utility is building a distributed, solar generation system on top of hundreds of strategically located distribution poles. Poles continue to be a critical infrastructure component for modern telecommunications and electric service delivery.   


Before new cable or equipment can be added to in-service poles, two questions must be answered.

  • Is there enough space to safely locate the new addition?
  • Does the pole have sufficient unutilized strength  to carry the additional load?

Osmose has developed practical, cost-effective solutions to help utilities respond quickly to pole access requests.  


Osmose Engineering Services include loading and clearance analysis, make-ready and replacement design, post-construction verification, pole strength upgrading, and system hardening. Osmose's structural analysis software,  O-Calc Pro simplifies and automates the process of calculating structural loads on new or existing poles and includes a live, 3-D model. Digital Measurement Technology (DMTTM) in the software allows users to accurately measure conductor heights, diameters, and clearances using digital images that can be captured easily and quickly in the field.


Please follow the links in the paragraph above for more information.