The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) is planning to start building its own fiber-optic network in the city. The new cables will be laid along with the underground power cables that the electricity company install as part of its effort to bring safety, security, and aesthetics to the city landscapes.
Bangalore, being the Silicon Valley of India in the southern state of Karnataka is a crowded city with the old electrical infrastructures posing threats to the public. BESCOM‘s initiatives to place both power cables and fiber optic cables will ensure safety to the pedestrians. Apart from that, BESCOM can utilize the optical fibers for its own purpose and also thinks to lease to other service providers.
BESCOM Managing Director C. Shikha said the decision to include deployment of optical fiber cables along with underground electrical cables was taken as the process will yield better returns at minimal extra cost. The project will be undertaken over the next three years. Fiber deployments along the power transmission cables and leasing it generate extra revenue by electricity companies is something new of its kind in Indian. The current strategy would make BESCOM the first government-owned electricity distribution company have a self-owned communication system.
BESCOM officials said that the optical fiber cables are essential components in the implementation of the R-APDRP project, which involves data acquisition, processing, and management, as well as for the Smart Grid System.
The project for underground installation of power transmission cables for Bangalore city was announced in the Karnataka State budget in 2018 and was pitched as a solution to increase quality and reliability of power supply, reduction in transmission and distribution losses, reduction in unauthorized connections due to tampering and decrease in the number of accidents due to snapping of overhead lines, among others.
What is the R-APDRP Project?
In order to bring reforms to the Power Sector, the Central Ministry of Power has launched the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Program (R-APDRP). The scheme is a Central sector scheme launched in July 2008.
The focus of the program is on the actual demonstrable performance in terms;
– AT&C loss reduction
– Establishment of reliable and automated sustainable systems for the collection of baseline data
– Adoption of information technology in the areas of energy accounting
– Consumer care and strengthening of Distribution network of State Power Utilities.
The R-APDRP scheme envisages the establishment of a supervisory control & data acquisition system and distribution management system in large towns.