Comcast Testing Utility Information System Over Broadband Network – Brief Article
Cable giant Comcast [Nasdaq: CMCSA] is exploring additional ways to generate revenue from its broadband Internet network. In cooperation with Pennsylvania electrical utility PECO Energy, the company is testing a technology called “GoodWatts” that uses Comcast’s cable plant as the infrastructure for a managed IP network that allows PECO to remotely control high-load electrical appliances. The trial is being conducted among 100 Philadelphia customers’ homes with new meters, more sophisticated thermostats and various other home automation technologies. The system allows PECO and its customers customers to monitor electrical usage within homes, and allows PECO to remotely control connected systems. The system allows the utility to manage loads and level out peaks in demand. Customers can monitor their electrical consumption online and manage monthly costs.
While not a broadband application itself–users don’t have to subscribe to any Comcast service–the system allows Comcast to take further advantage of the IP networking capabilities it’s added to its systems. Significantly, it gets the cable operator into a new market segment. Previous trials of utility networking systems, for remote meter reading, etc. have tended to use wireless infrastructure instead of cable plant.
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