Utilities increasingly face pressure to provide reliable communications for critical services. There is a need to maintain low latency end-to-end propagation delays, a need to restore service in the event of a disruption within 10 milliseconds, as well as a continued need to operate within the harsh electrical and environmental conditions of a power substation. In response to this increasing pressure, GE (NYSE: GE) and Optelian today announced a supply agreement to deliver reliable, high-performance optical networking solutions for utilities. By combining GE’s SONET, SDH and PDH multiplexers with Optelian Intuitive Packet Optical Networking™ and Optelian FLEX Architecture™, customers can build communication networks that allow them to introduce additional information technology applications while protecting critical operational traffic and ensuring superior service quality. The announcement was made at the UTC Telecom 2014 conference, taking place May 6-9 in Phoenix. Through pairing Optelian solutions with GE’s JungleMUX and TN1U/Ue multiplexers, utilities facing capacity constraints on existing fiber segments or requiring communications over extended fiber cable lengths now have a cost-effective solution. Alleviating these constraints without expensive capital infrastructure builds is pivotal to a utility’s success. “The alignment of Optelian solutions with GE’s multiplexers, switches and routers is a critical step forward to help our customers build next-generation networks,” said Tom Mueller, senior product manager, optical networks, GE’s Digital Energy business. “Until now, critical utility applications have remained isolated on our customers’ private networks to better protect the integrity and quality of these services. With Optelian, we now can improve our capabilities to deliver bandwidth intensive applications like video surveillance and storage area networks over the existing fiber network without impacting critical operational traffic.” Like GE’s JungleMUX and TN1U/Ue multiplexers, the Optelian FLEX Architecture is modular and allows utilities to selectively scale their network and deploy advanced optical technologies. The Optelian solution can offer muxponding, reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers and G.709 optical transport network at strategic locations to achieve a utilities’ critical communications goals. This approach facilitates field-upgradable “scale” to quickly augment capacity, extend reach and provide essential optical retiming, reshaping and amplification for additional cost savings. It also enables service separation specific to each utility’s changing needs.