During the webinar we talked about how important it is for the wireless provider to be able to handle peak traffic. A participant asked for an example of how a system can fail if it isn’t prepared for congestion. So our CTO, Ted Myers, shared a story about the 2011 California blackout. The gist of it is, that the utility’s fault circuit indicators supported by RPMA all successfully reported their status and remained usable throughout. However, the mesh connected meters also responsible for reporting outages were unable to handle the simultaneous flood of reporting and went down, failing to report. What’s more, even after the power came down the mesh network stayed down and didn’t report for another 72 hours, long after the information was useful. This is a great example of how RPMA was designed as a truly robust wireless sysem, with congestion management allowing RPMA to do its job when it is needed most.
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