Press Release

Benton PUD Awards Federal Engineering Contract for Radio System Evaluation

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Benton PUD Awards Federal Engineering Contract for Radio System Evaluation

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA, February 26, 2024 – Benton PUD (District) has awarded a consulting contract to Federal Engineering, Inc. (FE) to evaluate the District’s existing telecommunications backbone network and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) radio system and make recommendations for improvements.

In its present state, the District’s wireless SCADA communication system is reaching the end of its useful life, limiting field device communication additions. To determine the best approach for future-proofing the wireless SCADA communication system, an RFP was released in search of a consultant with extensive telecommunication systems experience. FE was selected to evaluate the District’s existing software/hardware assets, physical and network architecture, and current/future data traffic demands.

FE will provide telecommunications and SCADA gap analyses, evaluate relevant technologies, and provide recommendations for improvements including budgetary cost estimates,” said Kirsten Norton, District Engineer. “FE was the best choice candidate. They showcased the most experience in evaluating various types of telecommunication systems and recommending for future enhancements.”

Mr. Rajit Jhaver, Director of Project Operations for Federal Engineering explained: “FE consultants have worked on virtually every type of system and all operational situations, and as a result, we understand the complexities that will be involved in evaluating the District’s SCADA data transport radio system. FE will provide the expertise to assist the district in identifying short and long-term actions to enhance the performance and increase the cost effectiveness of their radio system.”

In addition, Mr. Jhaver, concluded that: “Using information furnished by the District, FE will prepare both physical and network architecture diagrams and spreadsheets showing the design connections/links and noting the throughput of the network links. We will collect and validate both the physical and network architecture of the District’s communications system, in which the following information will be collected:

  • Telecommunications fiber optic transport multiplexors
  • Dedicated fiber backhaul devices
  • SCADA/Sequence of Events Recorder RTUs
  • Other Ethernet connected remote data sources
  • Microwave radio links
  • Data radio links
  • Point-to-multipoint radio links
  • Routers and switches used to connect network elements
  • Data rates of equipment and link throughput speeds

This data will be used to generate our telecommunications gap analysis and recommendations.”

Federal Engineering is a leading, nationwide firm providing analysis, design, procurement, and implementation support for public safety and public service communications involving VHF, UHF, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, and 4.9GHz mobile radio systems as well as LTE and CBRS. These services complement FE’s wide range of dispatch center consulting services in NG911, PSAPs, EOCS, and RTTCs. FE’s cybersecurity practice helps our clients defend against today’s complex and ever-changing threat landscape. FE personnel also serve as trusted advisors assisting clients to assess services such as FirstNet® and the impacts of new technologies on their current and future plans. Since 1983, FE has completed thousands of communications projects in all 50 states for numerous state, local, and federal government clients as well as Canadian clients.

In addition to its public sector work, Federal Engineering provides design and implementation support services for voice, data, and video networks used in the transportation, utilities, finance, education, and computer services industries. FE’s certified independence ensures that clients receive objective, unbiased consulting services that are not influenced by any technology, product, vendor, or approach.

Benton PUD serves electricity and wholesale broadband to nearly 57,000 customers in Kennewick, Prosser, Finley, Benton City and surrounding areas in Benton County with offices located at 2721 W. 10th Avenue in Kennewick and 250 N. Gap Road in Prosser.


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