March 2009

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EMAIL INTERVIEW Daniel Drolet & Ken Sinclair

Daniel A. Drolet Sr, Chairman of Universal Powerline Association,  EVP, Director of Business Development PCN Technology

Daniel is an active member of the Universal Powerline Association, the leading Powerline Communications organization focused on International Standards and Applications where he serves as Chairman.  He also serves as PCN’s representative for the Modbus Organization, an industrial protocol communication and networking organization, Utilimetrics for Energy applications among others.

 Plug into Profit 09

In May this year the Universal Powerline Association launches its premiere Global Event, Plug into Profit 09.  It is designed as a forum for people who want to benefit from the growing powerline communication universe. The event is about real world experiences, real world opportunities and real world technologies and provides unique insights to understand the future of this industry. In this interview Daniel explains a little about Plug into profit 09, the UPA and other activities.

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Sinclair: Some people may not have heard about the UPA, can you tell us a little about the organisation?

Drolet:  Sure. The UPA was set up in 2004 to push for global standards and promote all applications of powerline communications technology. There was a growing recognition at the time that if powerline technology companies continued just fight it out amongst themselves then the whole industry would lose out. So, a number of industry leaders got together to form the UPA with the mission to unite and align the industry on a “level playing field” deploying interoperable and coexisting PLC products to the benefit of consumer’s worldwide.

Sinclair:  Powerline communications is a large “playing field” what is the scope of the Association?

Drolet: All embracing, as reflected in the name “Universal”. We set out to promote all powerline communication technologies. We want to be the catalyst for accelerating the growth of current and future PLC applications - Data, VoIP, Video, Control, Energy…and so on.

Within this it is really important that we promote interoperability and coexistence; between Access and In-premise network services, this will ensure no interference between these networks, allow for multiple vendor solutions, robust security and continuity of service. We certify products that work together so the consumer has a guarantee of interoperability.

UPA technology leads the global market for 200Mbps and we are developing faster technologies to offer greater bandwidth in line with the growing demands made upon the network.

Last year we published our market requirements documents for Smart Grid and Command and Control, with a view to producing specifications later this year, so we are active in addressing the these vitally important areas.

Sinclair: What is the rationale behind Plug into Profit ’09?

Drolet:  Because of a past false start, the Powerline communications industry has suffered from some incorrect perceptions by end users. Technology has advanced tremendously around the world, and we found that a great deal of the conferences being held were presenting past information in very similar presentations; or very limited information on case studies that were part of pilots that never really got anywhere.  Many times papers were too theoretical and did not shed light on real world business cases, practices, and the ability of end users to utilize Powerline networks in many ways. So, the UPA conceived our own event that is derived from successes of our own organization and its members along with much information from many types of applications from around the world. We know that there is money to be made and saved (particularly, through quick return on investment in energy management services) through Powerline communications technologies and the application of Powerline technologies.  We wanted to share how it is being done at present and our views of the future.  Our goal is to universally proliferate Powerline technologies that assist end users across the board in vast types of application.

Sinclair: Tell me more about the details of the Event?

Drolet:  It is being held in San Diego, CA on 19th and 20th May 2009. We are working with our event partners Spintelligent. The event is more than just a technology talk-shop – instead it brings together key stakeholders from across the value chains to explore how to make the most of the grid – home or otherwise, connect and share information, deliver new services and achieve real benefit and profit using powerline communication technology and applications. If you want to learn more or register, then visit the website

About the Author and PCN Technology

PCN Technology, Inc. is a technology company that has developed embedded subsystems modules for mission critical communication and networking applications over powerlines. PCN’s current products are focused on industrial controls & automation as well as, low and medium voltage energy networks. Daniel is a cofounder of PCN Technology, Inc. 

Daniel is a well-known business executive; recognized leader and expert in the fields of technology management focused in communications, networking and information technology overall.  He is recognized nationally in the fields of IP management and is quoted and author in various publications related to technology management including Fortune, Fast Company and other intellectual property books and manuals.  Daniel has served as the Chairman of the Board for regional Better Business Bureaus, as well as, Past Chairman and Treasurer.  Daniel is also recognized by “Who’s Who among IP Technology Professionals and Executives” and is a consultant with the Gehrson Lehrman Group’s Council of Tech Media Telecom Advisors. 

Prior to PCN, Mr. Drolet was responsible for the development and management of a global portfolio of IP Assets managed for customers and partners such as Sony, Lucent Technologies, Bell Labs and numerous other high technology companies. 

He is an active member of the Universal Powerline Association, the leading Powerline Communications organization focused on International Standards and Applications where he serves as Chairman.  Daniel also serves as PCN’s representative for the Modbus Organization, an industrial protocol communication and networking organization, Utilimetrics for Energy applications among others.

About the Universal Powerline Association:

The Universal Powerline Association (UPA) is an International not-for-profit trade association working to promote global standards and regulations in the fast developing Powerline communications market. The UPA aims to catalyze the growth of Powerline technology by delivering UPA plug tested and certified products that comply with these specified standards and regulations. All products and applications designed around UPA guidelines will communicate, from simple coexistence to full interoperability. The UPA provides all Powerline players the opportunity to respond to key customer expectations with open standards, based on interoperability, security and coexistence and supported by exclusive and independent certifications.

Members of the UPA include: AcBel Polytech Inc., Ambient Corporation, Analog Devices, Belfuse Inc., Buffalo Inc., Comtrend, Corinex Communications Corp., D-Link, DS2, Freedom Digital Networks, China Gridcom Company Ltd, Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute, Logitec Corporation, LS Cable, Netgear, PCN Technology, Pirelli Broadband, Power Monitors Inc., Toshiba Electronics Europe GmbH, Towada Well Design, Toyo Networks & System Integration Co., Ltd and Watteco.

Additional information about the UPA is available at  Contact: Donald Pollock, UPA Permanent Secretary Phone: + 44 178 047 0003



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