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Feb 02 2005


Wireless Systems Brings Members Faster Service, Better Information

Vancouver, BC, Canada – February 2, 2005 – Tantalus Systems Corp. announces that Appalachian Electric Cooperative (AEC) has purchased a Tantalus Utility Network (TUNet®). AEC serves over 40,000 members in eastern Tennessee, and will begin Phase 1 deployment of 5,000 endpoints immediately.

The project calls for implementation of advanced metering at residences strategically located throughout the Cooperative’s service area, a deployment method made possible by TUNet’s long-range radio capability. AEC will leverage its strategic investment in 220 MHz licenses, a frequency band perfectly suited for transmitting information across rough terrain to far-flung homes and farms.

AEC will employ advanced metering, outage and restoration notification, and power quality monitoring. It will also implement remote disconnect/reconnect devices that enable it to reset service from head office, reducing the need for high-cost trips to the region’s outer boundaries whenever cut in/out services are needed or meters need to be reset or disconnected.

“The Tantalus system affords us flexibility,” says Bill Underwood, General Manager. “With minimal infrastructure and the ability to retrofit meters with TUNet transceivers, we can install devices at locations across the electrical system to improve operational efficiencies. The rollout plan enables us to immediately eliminate trips to high cost endpoints on the service area’s outer boundaries. There are endless benefits for our operations department, but the bottom line is that we can provide our members with faster service and better information.”

TUNet is a two-way, real time communications system that combines a long-range 220 MHz wide-area network with an efficient 900 MHz local-area mesh network. Data collected at each endpoint “hops” to a local transceiver, which then establishes a connection with the radio tower and, ultimately to the utility’s operations center.

Eric Murray, VP of Sales and Business Development, appreciates the circumspect approach that AEC took in their assessment. “They identified ten key areas that the new technology would have to address such as collection savings, cut in/out savings, and ease of installation. The fact that TUNet shined under scrutiny is testament to the efforts we have made to develop a purpose-built system that satisfies the immediate and long-range objectives of utilities.”

“The benefit of TUNet is that it is a communications network that extends beyond meter reading to outage management, remote disconnect/reconnect, load management, and distribution automation,” he continues. “AEC recognizes this and has taken a lead in implementing a system that will enable it to operate more efficiently and further improve the level of service it provides to its members immediately and in the years to come.”

About Appalachian Electric Cooperative
Appalachian Electric Cooperative provides its members with reliable, safe, and efficient electric service in a courteous and timely manner at an affordable cost. It serves over 42,000 members located in four counties in Eastern Tennessee. AEC is unique in that it is operated on a non-profit basis, and is owned by the members which it serves. The Cooperative was formed in 1940, by a group of dedicated citizens determined to find a way to bring electricity to our rural area.

For more information, please visit www.appalachianelectric.coop

Bill Underwood, General Manager

About Tantalus Systems Corp.
Founded in 1989, Tantalus designs, manufactures, and markets two-way, real-time data communications networks to monitor and control electric, gas, and water utilities. The Tantalus Utility Network is a single, multi-purpose communications backbone specifically designed to help utilities extend the capacity of their distribution infrastructure. Tantalus’ long-range wireless networks unite a utility’s applications, making advanced metering, outage management, power quality monitoring, load management, and distribution automation cost-effective and practical throughout both urban and rural service areas.


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