Utility association names Alan Shark its president
The chairman of the Power Line Communications Association, Washington, said that the trade group has tapped Alan R. Shark, Ph.D., as its first president. Shark is known in the land mobile radio industry as head of the American Mobile Telecommunications Association and the International Wireless Telecommunications Association, also in Washington. He is adding PLCA administration to his current responsibilities with AMTA and IWTA.
Keith Brightfield, PLCA’s chairman and an employee of St. Louis-based Ameren, an electric and gas utility that serves Missouri and Illinois, said that PLPA chose Shark because “he has a track record of improving trade associations’ member participation and professionalism.”
Brightfield said that PLPA wants to get the word out about power line communications as a broadband Internet connection medium alternative to “incumbent” digital subscriber line, TV cable modem, satellite dish and wireless broadband services.
“A lot of policymakers desire wider broadband deployment, but a lot of the incumbents aren’t serving as widely as the policymakers would like,” Brightfield said, referring to limited deployment, especially in rural areas.
Brightfield said that electric-line communications technology has been available for decades, but only recently has it reached data speeds that allow broadband service. The new approach is undergoing several small-scale trials. He said that the next step is making it economical and putting in place the right public policy for deployment.
Three points that PLCA wants to make with policymakers is that power line communications can increase broadband deployment, improve energy efficiency by enabling a “smart” electric grid and improve national security with redundancy in critical infrastructure.
PLCA was formed in December 2001 by electric utilities. Its address is 1130 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 325, Washington, D.C. 20036; Tel. 202-331-7773; Web www.plca.net.