Light Reading

UTC Telecom 2014: The Rise of the Utelco?

Jason Meyers
5/9/2014
50%
50%

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- While many utilities are primarily focused on modernizing their internal communications networks, some of them also want to sell broadband services. To that end, some exhibitors at the Utilities Telecom Council Inc. 's Telecom 2014 event here are focused on equipping utilities to push high-speed connectivity to underserved regions. (See UTC Telecom 2014: More Power to You.)

"There's certainly potential for utilities to leverage these networks for multiple purposes," says Jens Erler, director of industry specific solutions for Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC).

Several US utilities are deploying fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks to provide broadband services. Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC), for example, recently tapped Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. to help it implement a network that will cover nearly 3000 miles in northern New Mexico, including Taos.

"We needed fiber for our electrical operations, and high-speed connectivity is lacking in our area," says Luis Reyes, CEO and general manager of KCEC. The utility secured $64 million in funding from the US Rural Utilities Service (RUS) , he says, to build a network that will pass 29,000 homes and businesses.

Municipally- and member-owned utilities are far more likely to become "utelcos" in underserved areas, both because of the government funds available to them and because they are less regulated than investor-owned utilities, said Mark Madden, regional vice president for North American utilities at Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU). Alcatel-Lucent supplied the infrastructure for the FTTH network that Chattanooga, Tenn. municipal utility EPB Fiber Optics launched in 2010.

"Any profit we make goes back to members in the form of lower electrical rates," says Reyes of KCEC.

In addition to connecting broadband users, Reyes says he hopes the deployment will stimulate the local economy by helping businesses be more competitive, particularly in tourist areas like Taos.

"Being able to provide high-speed bandwidth is an economic development enabler," says John Chowdhury, utility practice director for Fujitsu Network Communications.

— Jason Meyers, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/12/2014 | 5:12:22 PM
Re: who bears the losses
Small utilities tend to be very risk-averse. Many of them will move into telecom services only after they secure some sort of government funding, and the ones most likely to do so are operating in areas that don't interest Tier 1 operators. But you're asking a fair question.
mfeastman
50%
50%
mfeastman,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/12/2014 | 4:33:03 PM
who bears the losses
"Any profit we make goes back to members in the form of lower electrical rates," says Reyes of KCEC. -- What happens to the losses from this venture? Are the ratepayers protected from that? I doubt it.
R Clark
50%
50%
R Clark,
User Rank: Blogger
5/12/2014 | 3:54:48 AM
Re: Competition
It seems like not a bad partnership opportunity for broadband players. They have all that expertise in selling and managing broadband services that utilities might not want to trouble themselves with.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/10/2014 | 9:07:54 AM
Re: Competition
Calix also is pretty upbeat on this sector. A few other suppliers I spoke to at the show are still trying to determine what the real revenue opportunity is.
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
5/9/2014 | 10:42:50 PM
Competition
I wonder if some of these efforts will draw competitors into these markets. They haven't been there to begin with, of course, but if one company proves broadband can work, it seems logical others will follow in bids to steal that business.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading's founder and CEO, about Arista's CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Between the CEOs
Video Exclusive With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (5) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
VDF: Enable the Financial With Mobile Money

7|20|15   |   06:53   |   (0) comments


Ian Ravenscroft discusses how operators can expand to occupy the entire digital services value chain through service innovation.
LRTV Custom TV
Telefónica on OSS Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Jose Gonzales discusses the details of Telefónica's operation transformation program.
LRTV Custom TV
Judi Achmadi on Huawei's Cloud Storage Solution

7|20|15   |   03:33   |   (0) comments


Judi discusses the key business goals of TelekomSigma's public cloud service and how Huawei's solution helps them address challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
KPN Enlightening Digital Business & IT Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:19   |   (0) comments


Rob de Beer discusses the changes that operators need to make with service innovation now coming from the Internet world.
LRTV Custom TV
Stratus Telco-Grade Cloud Solutions & NFV

7|20|15   |   07:34   |   (0) comments


Ali Kafel from Stratus Technologies addresses high-availability concerns within the telco industry with a solution that enables telcos to provide high-availability and stateful fault-tolerance using a software-based approach.
LRTV Documentaries
The Six Million Dollar Business Man

7|20|15   |   01:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Saunders, publisher. A man barely alive after an acquisition malfunction imploded the company he founded. Gentlemen, we can rebuild Light Reading. Better, faster, stronger.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Anukool Lakhina, Guavus

7|20|15   |   38:51   |   (1) comment


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
LRTV Custom TV
IBM's Flash Storage With Intel QuickAssist

7|20|15   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Intel's Bev Crair and IBM's Eric Herzog discuss how IBM's V9000 Flash Storage System has helped customers around the world. Featuring real-time compression powered by Intel QuickAssist Technology, the V9000 is a next-gen flash storage solution.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
To keep up with consumers' increasing digital lifestyles, an IT system and operating model overhaul is required using a modern BSS, IES and analytics.
Hot Topics
Eurobites: Nokia Seals HERE Sale
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 8/3/2015
Cable Feuds With Senate Dems Over STBs
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/31/2015
Verizon Small Cells Ready to Rock in Chicago
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 7/31/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
I was pleasantly surprised when Ericsson recently agreed to let me interview its CEO, Hans Vestberg. Traditionally, mega-companies like Ericsson (or Cisco) have kept ...
Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Cats with Phones
Comes With Free Phone Stand Click Here
Who says cats don't have any skills?