Utilities face numerous challenges in maintaining services and ensuring safety, while rolling out smarter network technology. Power delivery to a customer premises through the Utility distribution network is increasingly billed and monitored through smart meters. While meters vary, many have some power monitoring function as well as their consumption/billing capabilities. Even though meters can perform both of these key roles, Utilities can face additional issues in the last stage of delivery of service to a customer.
The cabling infrastructure that physically connects the customer premises to the power distribution network varies in type, length and in the way it is connected to the network. Issues with cable damage, deterioration and tampering often remain undetected unless the cable damage leads to a power outage. Even then, detection is often down to the customer noticing power loss unless the meter is equipped to notify the Utility of the outage. In addition to damage or cable failure, cable tampering to enable power theft is an increasing issue worldwide.