Environmental Protection

Aclara Joins Wi-Fi Alliance

Aclara of St. Louis, Mo., has joined the Wi-Fi AllianceĀ®, a global, non-profit association devoted to the proliferation of interoperable Wi-FiĀ® technology across devices and market segments, according to a June 22 press release.

Aclara is part of the Utility Solutions Group of ESCO Technologies Inc. and the first supplier of utility-specific networks and advanced metering infrastructure to participate in the organization, which boasts more than 300 member companies in 20 countries.

The Wi-Fi Alliance supports Wi-Fi, with baseline functions defined in the IEEE 802.11 LAN standards, as the global wireless local-area network for homes, small and large businesses, government, and public access points. It tests and certifies products produced by members to ensure they meet internationally recognized criteria for security and interoperability. Members work together through a series of task groups to improve testing and certification processes.

"Aclara believes the mature standards promoted by the Wi-Fi Alliance are an excellent solution for utilities in part because they support the latest generation of federally specified standards-based security," said Mark Thompson, Aclara's vice president of Strategic Communication Networks. "In addition, the rigorous testing done by the organization's certification program guarantees that compatible products from different vendors will function in an open and interoperable manner."

By participating in the organization, the company hopes to promote Wi-Fi technology and certifications in smart-grid solutions.

The organization's Wi-Fi CERTIFIED program was launched in March 2000 to help ensure that Wi-Fi enabled products work together properly. Under the program, the alliance has completed more than 5,000 product certifications to date, encouraging the expanded use of Wi-Fi products and services in both new and established markets.

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