First UBBA summit addresses the importance of private broadband for grid modernisation


The summit underscores the value of private broadband networks as a key enabler of the utility of the future and urges the industry to band together to realise the opportunity

In support of America’s transforming critical infrastructure, the Utility Broadband Alliance (UBBA) is dedicated to advancing and developing private LTE broadband as key communications infrastructure for a secure, resilient, digital grid.

Launched as a utility member-driven organization in February 2019, UBBA founding member Southern Linc hosted UBBA’s first annual summit in Birmingham, Alabama earlier this month where utility executives, industry technology leaders along with representatives from the US Department of Energy, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Edison Electric Institute and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association explored key challenges facing electric utilities and examined private broadband networks as a critical element of the transforming grid.

The highly anticipated and widely attended 2-day event was held at Southern Company subsidiary Southern Company’s Alabama Power facility. UBBA utility and multivendor members along with other participants gathered to discuss topics ranging from resiliency and cyber security in the digital utility grid of the future to a review of the various broadband spectrum options and vendor technologies that can aid in solving the challenges utility communication networks face today. 

The summit also included tours of Southern Linc’s first in the nation private utility LTE deployment where attendees were able to see numerous critical use cases in operation. Southern Linc President and CEO Tami Barron served as keynote speaker for the event and highlighted the importance of UBBA’s private broadband mission while sharing lessons learned. “Grid modernization and communications networks are in lockstep; one cannot happen without the other. Private wireless broadband is a key component of this strategy, providing the security and resiliency our networks need. We believe in sharing best practices across all service territories in order to facilitate the development of this critical piece of infrastructure,” said Barron.

UBBA’s Director of Member Engagement and Operations Bobbi Harris commented, “It was an incredible opportunity to have utility executives, government thought leaders and industry technology experts together at UBBA’s first member event discussing the role private broadband networks can play in helping to secure and strengthen our nation’s electric grid. UBBA was created solely for this purpose, to drive scale and innovation for the utility industry, and we are just getting started.” 

Members rely on UBBA as a hub of information sharing, collaboration and planning to advance private broadband wireless connectivity for an increasingly interconnected and distributed grid.  This multifaceted organization is focused on bringing utilities leaders and innovative vendors together to educate on the role private broadband networks play as a key enabler of the utility of the future.

About the Utility Broadband Alliance

The Utility Broadband Alliance (UBBA) is a collaboration of utilities and ecosystem partners dedicated to championing the advancement and development of private broadband networks for America’s critical infrastructure industries. Members access resources that accelerate their journey towards a secure, resilient and future-proof grid.

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