Wednesday, June 24, 2009

North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Continues to Address Cyber Security

In the effort to better secure the North American power grid from cyber attack, significant milestones have been reached by NERC’s Critical Infrastructure Protection program. “Cyber security and critical infrastructure protection continue to be a top priority for our organization as we work to ensure the reliability of the bulk power system in North America,” commented NERC’s CEO, Rick Sergel.

Sergel recently announced significant progress has been made in the following areas of the program:

Revised Cyber Security Standards Recently Approved:
The standards have been filed for regulatory approval in the United States and are already mandatory and enforceable in parts of Canada.

Special Cyber Risk Preparedness Assessment to Begin:
Generalized, aggregated results from the assessment will be used to inform standards development activities, alert the industry to potential areas of concern, and identify areas where research and development investment is needed.

Secure Alerting Portal Enters Pre-Launch Testing Phase:
This new portal will facilitate NERC’s alerts process, whereby the organization is able to notify nearly 5,000 industry personnel at utilities, grid operations centers, power plants, and transmission facilities of emerging vulnerabilities as they arise.

Electric Industry Education Initiative:
Scheduled to begin with a series of online webinars, the initiative will include secured and classified industry briefings coordinated with the U.S. and Canadian governments.

To learn more about the status of this NERC program, click here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Online Spectrum Auction Fast Approaching

On July 28 & 29th, a highly desirable set of licenses will be auctioned on They consist of very high frequency (VHF) spectrum licenses covering the state of Florida and part of Georgia. This spectrum is attractive due to its geographic coverage and the wide availability of compatible analog and digital radio equipment from leading vendors.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) frequently utilizes auctions to sell spectrum to commercial entities. However, auctions have not been used to sell spectrum rights on the secondary or “aftermarket" for spectrum. SpecEx, the online marketplace for spectrum™, now enables buyers and sellers to participate private spectrum auctions.

There are a total of 31 Market-Based VHF licenses available in this particular auction. All licenses will be sold on an individual basis, with no limit to the number of licenses one buyer can purchase.

Call 407-792-1570 x521,
or visit the SpecEx auction page for more information

Monday, June 1, 2009

Spectrum Bridge and UTC Partner to Answer Spectrum Questions

The Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) and Spectrum Bridge Inc. have formed a partnership that makes it easier for utilities, critical-infrastructure providers and other spectrum users to access licensed wireless spectrum.

Many questions regarding upcoming wireless choices are on the minds of UTC members who are set to start receiving American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) dollars. Since proposals to receive federal grants are to be “shovel-ready,” decisions need to be made on what frequencies to build networks on:

Can unlicensed spectrum be used? Should licensed be acquired? To what extent can carrier’s frequencies b
e utilized? Maybe a hybrid of all three?

By leveraging SpecEx, the online marketplace for spectrum and Spectrum Bridge’s expertise, the UTC can provide additional spectrum choices to its members and other frequency coordination clientele.

With its extensive experience as an FCC-certified frequency coordinator, UTC can offer unbiased advice on buying or leasing spectrum to its customers, UTC officials said.

Steady Increase Reported in Backhaul Demand

The ever-growing popularity of smart phones is fueling a continuous demand for data service. The increase is helping carriers overcome declining revenues in other areas, but it is also causing the need for a buildup of backhaul systems.

Carriers will need to significantly develop stronger infrastructure in order to handle the increase in demand. According to market research firm Infonetics Research, by 2010, data traffic will surpass voice traffic on mobile networks and profit from backhaul equipment investments is set to explode over the next five years and beyond. Another key figure recently published says demand for mobile backhaul equipment is seen topping $10 billion by 2011.

Infonetics has predicted microwave solutions the big winner. It is estimated that 60 percent of backhaul cell site connections of most regions of the world are currently microwave, and demand is growing fast, including here in the U.S.

To address the demand, SpecEx, the online spectrum marketplace is working to boost their inventory of microwave frequencies and work with carriers to meet exploding customer's demands.

To read the Infonetics Research report, click here.