JRC Response to Ofcom Draft Annual Plan 2019/20

JRC highlights that communication networks are dependent on access to resilient and robust electricity supplies. Also, with the evolving Smart Grid, that the existing intelligent electricity monitoring and control systems are being expanded to the extremes of the electricity network. This expansion in the operational communications needs of the energy utilities will require access to additional spectrum. This developing need is being explored within Ofcom’s current direct engagement with the Energy Utilities which we welcome. To this end we encourage Ofcom to establish a specific work item to further this Industry need. This may be pursued under the heading of ‘Managing spectrum and planning for future requirements’ within the Annual Plan. It is worth noting the ongoing developments within the Republic of Ireland where the Communications Regulator (ComReg) has acknowledged the need for additional spectrum to be made available to facilitate Smart Grid developments and in so doing is proposing to afford access to 2 x 3 MHz of spectrum in the 400 MHz range for the Irish utilities.