News & Resources

29 Jan 2019

Utility Poles – The Forgotten US Infrastructure

by: James Pardue

If you ask the average person to name three pieces of critical infrastructure they would likely say; “bridges, roads and a government building such as a school or hospital”. Most people never think about utility poles until they hit one with a car or a storm knocks them down. In reality, utility poles are the backbone of modern commerce. When the poles go down, we are instantly welcomed into a real-life episode of Little House on the Prairie. Utility poles for many of us are invisible until they no longer do what they are supposed to do….deliver power to the stoves that cook our meals (or a microwave if you’re me), the furnace that makes sure we have a warm place to sleep or the television that keeps us entertained.

At ikeGPS the global utility pole infrastructure is all that we think about. Extreme weather events are becoming an increasing threat to utility poles. The industry can no longer just accept storms as a new normal. There has to be a plan. So, what’s the first step? Know what you have! You need to know what you have so you can make better decisions about what to replace, reinforce or move. A recent article in Forbes Insights and KPMG, 2016 Global CEO Outlook, 84% of CEOs are concerned about the quality of the data they’re basing their decisions on.

Know where your utility poles are, know what’s on them and which poles will likely fail. Sounds simple, but it’s hard to execute, especially across large networks that are comprised of millions of poles. Some utilities don’t even try to inventory all their poles, claiming it’s too hard and too expensive. At ikeGPS we make what most people think is impossible possible with our knowledge, people and technology. We’ve been speaking to customers and audiences about storm hardening – connect with us and our pole experts would be happy to share our research and recommendations with you.

 

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