& cplSiteName &

Jackson Energy Enhances FTTH Billing

Jason Meyers
6/26/2014
50%
50%

One of the first municipal utilities in the US to enter the fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) domain a decade ago added new BSS intelligence into its service this week, with the goal of appealing to more customers with integrated billing for a wide range of services.

Jackson Energy Authority (JEA), which launched its FTTH network in Jackson, Tenn. in 2004, upgraded the business support system for its EPlus Broadband division to ETI Software Solutions ' Overture platform. JEA has used ETI's software in its network since launch, but only to provision and bill for video and data services, says Ben Lovins, senior vice president of telecommunications for JEA. Overture will manage all BSS functions -- from order entry to rating to service activation to billing -- for all triple-play services and also tie into the company's utility billing platform to provide a single statement, he says.

Since JEA provides a plethora of utility services -- electricity, gas, water, wastewater, and propane -- in addition to its triple-play offering, the ability to offer customers a single bill could be a draw -- though Lovins admits some customers might also balk at seeing a bill that could total several hundred dollars.

For ETI, the primary challenge was integrating all the data and records from JEA's legacy telephony billing system into Overture, said John McBurney, program manager for ETI. About 50% of ETI's customers are utilities, and the balance are telcos and cable operators, said Justin Nevius, account manager for ETI.

"We see a huge uptick with the utility and electric co-op market," Nevius says. "We have lots of customers that are realizing they're not integration experts."

Indeed, many BSS and OSS vendors that have traditionally targeted telecom service providers are eyeing new or expanded opportunities in the utility sector, says Tim McElligott, senior consulting analyst at Stratecast, a division of Frost & Sullivan -- and they're right to, given the parallels to the telco transition of a decade and more ago.

"The whole utility industry is about to go through what telecom went through -- making the change from being a regulated provider of commodity services to being a customer-centric provider of services on a transformed network," McElligott says. "The experience that the telcos and their vendors went through means a lot and can help utilities as they go through the same thing."

JEA's FTTH network passes about 35,000 potential customers and currently has about 18,000, Lovins says. The utility is now in the process of upgrading the FTTH network to offer gigabit services, as well as introducing technologies on the utility side that will allow for functions such as smart metering, voltage reduction and analytics, he says.

"The only reason we don't yet offer a gig is that we started so early," Lovins says.

JEA is hopeful that its evolving network will have an impact on economic development, attracting and retaining high-tech talent and businesses to the region. The company recently worked with the Tennessee Valley Authority to certify and prep a site for an enterprise data center, already looped with fiber, in hopes of attracting a company like Google to the area, he says.

"We're trying to go from cotton to the cloud," Lovins says.

ó Jason Meyers, Utility Communications Editor, Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/28/2014 | 7:10:06 AM
any major IT investments
> The company recently worked with the Tennessee Valley Authority to certify
> and prep a site for an enterprise data center, already looped with fiber, in
> hopes of attracting a company like Google to the area, he says.

This is good news for Tennessee valley. I hope other states' utility companies are taking notes. So are there any major IT investments by other companies since this development?
SachinEE
100%
0%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/28/2014 | 5:19:15 AM
RE: Bill Shock versus bill unification
Of course there will be a great improvement on the economic development, all thanks to JEAs evolving network. JEA also takes credits to the provision of electricity water, gas, waste water and propane. As a result, the ability to offer customers a single bill could end up being a draw. But the question that every individual poses in their minds is whether the single bill will reduce the number of con summers or not. I also wonder if the triple plays have any plans of increasing the bills.
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/28/2014 | 4:21:34 AM
Re: Bill shock versus bill unification
My experience of being a marketeer tells me:
  • From a good provider, a happy customer who has had a good experience will ask for more services and be ready to pay more. 
  • From a bad provider, an angry customer wants to cut the cord - let alone buy more
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
6/27/2014 | 10:19:26 AM
Re: Bill shock versus bill unification
I think if you like your service provider, the bill shock is not the issue it once was. But if you think you are getting lousy service then seeing those numbers every month just makes you angrier. 

I'd agree they have to deliver on their service promises from the get-go. 
jasonmeyers
50%
50%
jasonmeyers,
User Rank: Blogger
6/27/2014 | 10:17:19 AM
Re: Bill shock versus bill unification
As a consumer (and a bad budgeter) I'm not sure I would want to see a bill for ALL my services on one bill. But it certainly puts pressure on providers like JEA to offer great service and avoid customer backlash. 
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
6/26/2014 | 2:15:56 PM
Bill shock versus bill unification
This is an interesting strategy on a couple of fronts - integration for efficiency of operations is one, and ease of payment by customers is another.

I wonder if, in this age of service bundling, the single bill will stagger some consumers or whether the triple plays and family plans have prepared us all for bigger bills. 
Light Readingís Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
LIVE NOW!
Friday, December 2, 1:00PM EST
The SDN Approach to IP & Optical Integration
Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, December 2, 1:00PM EST
The SDN Approach to IP & Optical Integration
Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (1) comment


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Tackling 5G in Dallas

11|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Here are our highlights of the 5G North America show in Dallas, Texas with Light Reading's Dan Jones.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Prepping for Virtualization Trials

11|14|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this video interview, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein discusses MSO's plans to test managed business services in early 2017 and tackle Distributed Access Architectures.
LRTV Custom TV
Drivers & Potential of NGP

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


ETSI has created an Industry Specification Group to work on Next Generation Protocols (NGP ISG), looking at evolving communications and networking protocols to provide the scale, security, mobility and ease of deployment required for the connected society of the 21st century. The NGP ISG will identify the requirements for next generation protocols and network ...
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei IP 2020 for Future Networks

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Future Networks should satisfy many requirements such as high throughput, extremely low latency, flexible mobility, intrinsic security, networking automation, and so forth. The Chief Architect of Huawei Future Networks addresses a holistic solution, i.e., IP 2020, to achieve these requirements for various future life scenarios (e.g., autonomous driving, tactile ...
LRTV Custom TV
Digital Object Architecture

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Digital Object Architecture provides a basic information infrastructure that can facilitate interoperability between or among different systems, processes, and other information resources, including different identity management systems. Digital objects are networked objects that are named by digital object identifiers and instantiated by an infrastructure service ...
LRTV Custom TV
BT's Openreach Has High Hopes for Long-Reach VDSL

11|11|16   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Peter Bell, Network Portfolio CIO at BT's access business Openreach, talks about the operator's trial of a new broadband access technology called Long Reach VDSL.
Upcoming Live Events
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
AT&T Debuts DirecTV Now on New Video Platform
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 11/28/2016
Apple Seeds 5G? Seeks 'Multi-Gigabit' Chip Designer
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice Plans FTTH for Entire US Footprint
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice FTTH Bill Could Hit Almost $9.6B in US
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/1/2016
Samsung Bows to Investors, Considers Revamp
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/29/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.