Smart Metering - The next big switch over

Our vision to be central to every vital connection people make, every day, has resulted in some impressive success stories.

For example, we delivered the nationwide communications network for the UK’s highly successful TV Digital Switch Over (DSO) so that millions of homes across the UK could enjoy new digital TV services.

It’s a great example of a major critical national infrastructure programme that was delivered on time and under budget. It also created a positive consumer experience.

Switching to smart meters

We view smart metering as the next big switch over. Like the DSO, smart meters will rely on a nationwide communications network so that new services can be introduced into every home. Great technology and excellent delivery will be vital to the success of the programme. Sound familiar? It’s what made the DSO such a resounding success.

"The Digital Switch Over is a landmark project that is helping drive forwards our goal of creating a truly Digital Britain. I congratulate Arqiva for successfully undertaking the largest digital network project this country has ever experienced.”

Innovative approaches and strong teamwork

During the DSO we had to overcome many challenges. These ranged from hazardous environments and exceptionally poor weather, to major supply chain disruptions as a result of the Icelandic ash cloud. We didn’t let this stand in our way. We took innovative approaches where needed, such as pioneering the use of special load-carrying helicopters to install new antennas at great heights.
Key to success was very clear and careful planning, the right people with strong teamwork, as well as complete focus on delivering on time and budget.

“We delivered every single switch over event on time, to a programme which had to be agreed years in advance and, once agreed, offered no flexibility. We’ve delighted customers and surprised a lot of people who thought it couldn’t be done.”

On common ground

The parallels between the TV DSO and the smart metering rollout have already been widely recognised. For example, the new Central Delivery Body being set up to inform consumers about the benefits of smart metering has many similarities to Digital UK, which led marketing campaigns and help schemes for the DSO.
Like the TV Digital Switch Over, the communications technology used for smart meters will also have a direct major impact on consumer experience, quality of service and total programme costs. The choice of communications service provider will additionally impact the potential to introduce new energy management and smart grid services in future.

Understanding the complexities
However, there are also important differences. This is especially so as smart metering is a much more complex proposition where success will depend on sustained behavioural change by millions of consumers.
The following comparison shows just how similar – and different – the two transformational programmes are:

Smart Metering - The next big switchover

Find out more about the TV Digital Switch Over

Find out about Arqiva and smart metering