EA Networks in Ashburton, New Zealand, chooses Allied Telesis for updated electricity control and rural broadband networks.

challenge

Electricity Ashburton Ltd, known as EA Networks, is a locally owned co-operative network company in mid-Canterbury, New Zealand.

EA Networks owns and operates the region's electricity distribution network, alongside a cutting-edge fibre-optic communications network which provides ultra-fast, highly reliable internet services. Since 2008, EA Networks have installed more than 500km of direct access urban and rural fibre to homes, businesses and farms throughout Canterbury.

When the company decided to upgrade their two distinct networks—one for managing electricity distribution and one for fiber broadband provision—it was a definite challenge to find the right solution at the right price. With over 20,000 customers, maintaining control of the electricity network while providing rural fiber broadband was no easy task.

EA Networks needed real-time control of their electricity distribution network. The new network had to provide optimal security, constant high availability and high performance, and yet be simple to manage.

Why Allied Telesis?

Allied Telesis was competing against other industry leaders, including Alcatel, Lucent, Brocade and Cisco. EA Networks selected Allied Telesis due to their advanced technologies and flexible solutions, which were offered alongside access to stellar technical support, and at an unbeatable cost.

SOLUTION

Allied Telesis worked with EA Networks to design and implement a brand-new solution for management of electricity distribution, as well as upgrading the network used to deliver fiber broadband services to their customers.

The new electricity management network features SwitchBlade x908 Generation 2 (SBx908 GEN2) high-capacity switches in a distributed network core across 3 locations. This enables real-time management of electricity distribution with high availability, which is crucial in supporting customers spread over this large rural area.

The upgraded fiber broadband network, which delivers high-speed internet to many rural customers, also has SBx908 GEN2 switches in the core, as well as Allied Telesis x-Series and integrated Multi Access Platforms (iMAPs) for distribution, and intelligent Media Gateways (iMGs) in each customer’s home.

The SBx908 GEN2 switches use Virtual Chassis Stacking (VCStackTM) so multiple physical units appear as a single virtual device, simplifying management, and providing a network core with no single point of failure. The SBx908 GEN2 is ready for future business growth, as hot-swappable expansion modules (XEMs) for additional 10 Gigabit, 40 Gigabit, and 100 Gigabit connectivity can be added at any time.

Allied Telesis Ethernet Protection Switched Ring (EPSRingTM) provides rural fiber distribution, for high-speed ring-based networks with ultra-fast failover—perfect for this geographically dispersed network.

The combination of VCStack and ESPRing enables a high performing and resilient rural broadband network, which is also easy to manage. It comfortably handles increasing data, voice and video traffic volumes, and ensures easy access to online information for all users.

The new solution also utilizes several Allied Telesis AR4050S UTM Firewalls for connectivity between the electricity control, broadband and corporate networks, allowing secure encrypted management access from any location.

SUCCESS

EA Networks now enjoys secure and reliable new network solutions. The company has complete control of its electricity distribution network, with high availability to manage the provision of power to its many customers, and the ability to handle any faults in a timely manner.

The ever-expanding fiber broadband network ensures that quality rural Internet access is provided to match that enjoyed by urban customers.

The new solution is resilient, and future-proof, being easily expandable to cope with additional customers, and any new services EA networks choose to roll out.

With leading products, and great support, the cohesive new data connectivity solutions from Allied Telesis will meet EA Networks’ requirements both now and well into the future.

 

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