By Brian Albright, Field Technologies magazine
Electric cooperative SMECO is using rugged laptops and a mobile VPN to improve field crew efficiency during power outages.
In a world that is increasingly dependent on electricity, the effects of power outages (even brief ones) have become more and more deleterious. When the power goes out, it’s up to a small army of utility company field crews to fix the lines. The more efficient and effective those crews are the more quickly the lights come back on.
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) is a utility provider that serves roughly 150,000 customers in Southern Maryland. The company has deployed rugged laptop computers to improve the productivity of its field crews, particularly during outages and catastrophic weather events. Thanks to a new mobile VPN, the company has also improved the performance of the system, eliminating connectivity issues and dropped application sessions.