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Light Reading Appoints Utilities/IoT Editor

Ray Le Maistre

This year is turning out to be a very significant one for Light Reading: Under the leadership of founder Steve Saunders, who has returned as CEO, Light Reading is once again a private company, in charge of its own destiny (or "living the dream," as we call it); the Big Telecom Event (BTE), held in Chicago in mid-June, was a massive success, and is already shaping up to be a much bigger gathering in 2015; and the company has been growing in every sense (including waistbands, for some of us who are taking too many pastries with our coffee). (See Stephen Saunders Acquires Light Reading From UBM, The Big Telecom Switch, and Hot Stuff at BTE.)

We've also been growing our editorial team. Earlier this year we hired Mitch Wagner as West Coast Bureau Chief, giving us a presence in California to cover developments in the telco SDN and IP networking sectors, and now we've signed up experienced telecom industry editor Jason Meyers as Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT. (See Light Reading's Back in California.)

Meyers has been working with Light Reading on a contract basis since April, helping to develop the Big Telecom Event and kickstarting our coverage of the utility communications sector, which appears to finally be gaining some real momentum. (See our Utilities content for the latest articles.)

He quickly became an integral part of the team, especially when it came to finding late-night joints to visit in Chicago (his near neighborhood) after-hours at BTE. But perhaps more importantly (only perhaps, though), is his background in the communications media, having held senior editorial roles at Telephony and Wireless Review, followed by a stint as Executive Editor at Entrepreneur Magazine.

The Utilitarian
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT/Karaoke
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT/Karaoke

So he's bringing plenty of key and relevant experience to his new role as a permanent member of staff at Light Reading. But as his job title suggests, he's not here just to track what utilities are doing -- his role also covers a couple of other key topics, namely the Internet of Things (IoT) and Gigabit Cities.

Why are these his specialist beats? As already mentioned, there are very real signs that utility companies are investing in communications networking technologies and skills, and not just to meet their own needs -- many utilities now see the wholesale and retail communications markets as sources of additional revenues.

As a result, many are investing in the technologies that will enable high-speed broadband access (including some Gigabit access networks) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, a key area of IoT development: That's why it makes sense for Meyers to have utilities, Gigabit Cities and IoT within his specific coverage remit. (See IoT: More Things, More Challenges, Poll: IoT Will Require Network Overhaul, Colorado Gigabit Network Shuns Video, Embraces OTT, and Power Companies Promise Gigabit Broadband.)

But it's not just about the utilities, of course. The IoT trend will affect every individual, company, and market in the years to come, and will shape the strategies of communications service providers, their customers, and suppliers.

And the Gigabit Cities trend is growing -- Google may be the poster child for 1Gbit/s broadband but there are an increasing number of markets and suppliers involved, including major Tier 1 telcos, cable operators, and many alternative regional providers. (See Google Fiber Shifts Into High Gear, AT&T GigaPower Wins Two NC Cities , Gigabit Speeds Come to Rock Hill, and Cox Goes for a Gigabit .)

Utility communications, IoT, and Gigabit Cities are all going to be key topics on Light Reading in the coming years, and we're very glad to have Meyers leading our coverage in these key emerging sectors.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Sabre
7/16/2014 | 7:31:07 PM
Re: Can utilities be disruptive?
How do you define IoT? Is the idea to cover anything with an IP address or is there some finer filter you're applying?


User Rank: Blogger
7/16/2014 | 3:05:37 PM
Re: Can utilities be disruptive?
Thanks Ray - for the nice intro, for the opportunity, for cutting off the top of my bald head in that photo up there -- for all of it. 

That same utility trend you described in the UK is taking hold in the US too, but so far mostly in so-called underserved markets by smaller utilities. But most utilities have fiber in place to some extent -- more all the time -- so depending on the regulatory situation, we could see more of them extending it to consumers, not to mention leasing it to service providers. It's going to be interesting to see not only if consumers adopt the services, but also if and how the competition responds. Exciting areas to follow!   
User Rank: Blogger
7/16/2014 | 2:54:40 PM
Re: Congratulations
Thanks, Tim! 
Tim McElligott
Tim McElligott,
User Rank: Light Beer
7/16/2014 | 9:33:42 AM
Congratulations to Jason Meyers and to Light Reading for choosing a great utilitarian! 
User Rank: Blogger
7/16/2014 | 6:00:21 AM
Can utilities be disruptive?
As this blog about Jason was going live, I was talking with an executive from a utilities company that is installing fiber along with the gas, water and electricity infrastructure into greenfield sites in the UK, and then providing broadband services alonside retail utility services. It's all fiber. Will the residents ever churn away to an alternatiev service? Have the people who live on these sites been lost to BT and other UK service providers for ever?

Greenfield housing construction is on the upturn again in the UK.... in a few years this could start to be significant.  
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