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
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
Networks of the future will rely on "white box" switches and servers rather than proprietary hardware and that's going to alter the shape of the communications industry. Who says so? John Chambers.
LRTV Documentaries
In Ericsson's 5G Lab

4|2|15   |   06:29   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders visits Ericsson's labs in Stockholm to find out about the vendor's 5G device prototype from the leader of the vendor's 5G product strategy, Hĺkan Andersson.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Power Play With GrupoGiro

4|1|15   |   2:51   |   (0) comments


Daniel Heredia, CEO of Energiro, the power management services part of Spain's Grupo Giro, explains why his company has just struck a partnership with Huawei for uninterruptible power supply products and how he hopes it can take the partnership into other markets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Intros Smart Device for eLTE

3|30|15   |   05:25   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed a secure, location-aware multimedia smartphone for its eLTE trunked radio solution, says Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Win Video, Win All

3|30|15   |   06:44   |   (0) comments


Video is going to be the next main source of revenue for operators. Operators have big opportunities and advantages to monetize video services. Globally, Huawei has helped more than 70 operators achieve over 30 million video subscribers. Watch this video for more.
LRTV Custom TV
The Benefits of HyperScale Clouds for NFV

3|27|15   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Hyperscale cloud has been developed by the Internet giants to support the creation and delivery of software-based services at blistering speeds, and at the lowest possible cost. The original ETSI NFV vision was to adopt hyperscale cloud architecture and practices. This vision has become somewhat obscured along the way, due to misunderstandings about the hyperscale ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
eLTE Rapid Meets the Need for Speed

3|26|15   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


Designed especially for emergency and dedicated ad hoc local mobile communications coverage, Huawei's eLTE Rapid solution can deliver trunked voice, video and data coverage for multiple users over a 6km range and be set up in just 15 minutes, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
On Videos: Challenges & Opportunities

3|26|15   |   5:56   |   (0) comments


Most everything is now connected. And along with 4K and 4G technologies, everyone could be creating and broadcasting video contents. Users are expecting better video experience with any screen, anywhere and anytime. Operators will meet new challenges, but also see some big opportunities.
LRTV Custom TV
JDSU: Delivering Dynamic Networks for a Personalized Experience

3|26|15   |   5:59   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks to JDSU at Mobile World Congress 2015 about new solutions in the areas of HetNets, VoLTE, backhaul, virtualization, big data analytics, and real-time intelligence.
LRTV Custom TV
Smarter Service Chaining & New Ways to Benefit From Qosmos Technology

3|25|15   |   03:11   |   (0) comments


David Le Goff, director of strategic and product marketing at Qosmos, explains how the company has added application awareness to subscriber information to make service chaining more efficient and reduce costs for networking and infrastructure. In addition, Qosmos technology, which has been delivered as C libraries, is now also available as a virtual machine, ...
Between the CEOs
Qosmos CEO: The Changing Face of DPI

3|24|15   |   13:53   |   (0) comments


LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures. Also, how the comms market is becoming more like the automotive industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FC Schalke Scores With Its Agile Stadium

3|24|15   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Top German soccer club FC Schalke 04 has deployed a new, agile WiFi network from Huawei in its Veltins-Arena stadium and is reaping the benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and business opportunities, explains marketing chief Alexander Jobst.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Insights on Mobile Video

3|24|15   |   7:51   |   (0) comments


More people than ever are now watching videos on smartphones. Seventy percent of mobile traffic will be video traffic until 2018. In this video, Huawei's exports give their insights on mobile video in terms of business model, network planning and 4G network construction.
Upcoming Live Events
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
More and more traffic is traveling within data centers, and operators need new networking approaches to manage this growth. Pica8's infographic shows how operators can confidently and painlessly deploy white box switches into existing networks today and leverage the benefits of SDN.
Hot Topics
AT&T Woos SMBs With Small-Scale WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/26/2015
Just Don't Say IBM Is 'Relaunching' Networking Business
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 3/26/2015
TV Everywhere Nears Mainstream Adoption
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/27/2015
Carriers Are Bright Spot in BlackBerry Q4
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/27/2015
Comcast Says TWC Deal Will Close Later
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.