Itron Unveils the Future of Rural Smart Communities with New Fiber Mini Access Point
Itron’s Fiber MiniAP Leverages Existing Fiber Assets to Connect Smart Meters and Devices to Itron’s Multi-Purpose Network, Extending IIoT Network Coverage
liberty lake, washington – march 2, 2023
Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI), which is innovating the way utilities and cities manage energy and water, unveiled the new Itron Fiber Mini Access Point (Fiber MiniAP™), which leverages both fiber and RF mesh connectivity for a wide range of Itron endpoints. The Fiber MiniAP can help cooperatives leverage fiber network assets for next generation advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), distributed intelligence, distribution automation, low-voltage network management, smart lighting and more to enable grid modernization beyond meter-to-cash.
Rural electric cooperatives often recognize the synergy and interdependency between broadband and smart grid networks and in many instances face the challenge of building these networks in more sparsely populated areas. It is common amongst these cooperatives to deploy fiber for both utility and commercial connectivity. Fiber adoption will continue to accelerate as government funding for these networks becomes available. By leveraging these fiber assets, the Fiber MiniAP extends industrial IoT (IIoT) network coverage in rural areas with low meter-per-mile density while reducing infrastructure and total cost of ownership, both of which are common obstacles to cooperative network upgrades.
Further, rural electric cooperatives can utilize Itron’s extensive partner ecosystem to address grid modernization challenges at their own pace with a future-ready IIoT network. Fiber-enabled distributed intelligence also opens the door to advanced applications such as electric vehicle monitoring and management, distributed energy resource management, Conservation Voltage Reduction and more. Powerful edge computing capabilities will allow for unprecedented visibility and control in low and medium voltage distribution networks, ultimately driving more value to members. Itron is currently planning to test the Fiber MiniAP with cooperative utilities and the solution will be commercially available in North America in the first half of 2024.
“Utility companies are always looking for ways to deliver reliable and safe energy services. With Itron’s Fiber MiniAP, these companies can now extend intelligently connected network coverage and advanced applications further,” said John Marcolini, senior vice president of Networks at Itron.“Itron’s latest smart network innovation will provide cooperatives utilities with a practical next step to solve pressing operational challenges through fiber-enabled next generation AMI.”
“National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC), an Itron Sales Channel Partner, provides solutions to more than 1,500 rural electric and telephone utilities and affiliates in 48 states. With the creation of the Fiber MiniAP, Itron is considering the voice of the customer,” said Greg Bartolomei, president of Smart Grid Solutions at NRTC. “We are excited about the new opportunities for next-generation AMI and smart grid applications that the Fiber MiniAP will help unlock for electric cooperatives. We look forward to continuing our partnership to deliver more value.”
Itron enables utilities and cities to safely, securely and reliably deliver critical infrastructure solutions to communities in more than 100 countries. Our portfolio of smart networks, software, services, meters and sensors helps our customers better manage electricity, gas and water resources for the people they serve. By working with our customers to ensure their success, we help improve the quality of life, ensure the safety and promote the well-being of millions of people around the globe. Itron is dedicated to creating a more resourceful world. Join us: www.itron.com.
Itron® is a registered trademark of Itron, Inc. All third-party trademarks are property of their respective owners and any usage herein does not suggest or imply any relationship between Itron and the third party unless expressly stated.
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
NRTC is a member-driven cooperative that provides technology solutions to help more than 1,500 electric and telecom members bring all the advantages of today’s evolving technology to rural America. NRTC’s products and services are developed specifically to meet the needs of rural providers and their customers, and include smart grid and utility solutions, broadband engineering, infrastructure and managed network services, mobile service solutions, and video solutions. NRTC helps providers grow by delivering end-customer technical support, network services, cybersecurity solutions and revenue-generating services leveraged by a powerful service delivery platform. NRTC helps ensure member success by bringing national scope and scale to local, rural projects and helping integrate technology solutions with existing infrastructure. Visit www.nrtc.coop.
Chris Martin Vice President, Member & Industry Relations