& cplSiteName &

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.
From The Founder
NFV's promises of automation and virtualization are intriguing, but what really excites service providers is the massive amount of money they could save.
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
AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future

7|26|17   |   5:47   |   (10) comments


AT&T is focused on the software-defined network of the future and is reskilling its workforce to get ready too, according to AT&T's President of Technology Development Melissa Arnoldi.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Masergy's NFV Journey

7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Mavenir on RCS Cloud Platform & Multi-ID

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guillaume Le Mener, head of marketing and corporate development at Mavenir, discussed RCS and the recent launch of Multi-ID, which supports T-Mobile's DIGITS, the revolutionary new technology that breaks down the limitation of one number per phone and one phone per number.
LRTV Custom TV
ADTRAN Executive Outlines Trends in Next-Generation 10-Gigabit Cable Networks

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Hossam Salib, VP of Cable and Wireless Strategy at ADTRAN, outlines key trends as MSOs begin to deploy next-generation Gigabit and 10-Gigabit cable networks. In the interview, Hossam outlines the advantages of a Fiber Deep architecture, FTTH options including EPON and RFoG, and the importance of SDN and NFV in building next-generation high-bandwidth cable networks.
LRTV Interviews
Global Capacity: Bandwidth Demand Driving Ethernet Growth

7|6|17   |   6:37   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, Global Capacity's VP of Marketing Mary Stanhope talks about how the demand for bandwidth is changing the way service providers deliver broadband services.
LRTV Interviews
Colt's Services Chief on Digital Delivery

7|5|17   |   16:12   |   (0) comments


Rogier Bronsgeest, the chief customer experience officer (chief CEO!) at Colt, discusses the way in which the service provider interacts with its customers these days and his aggressive net promoter score (NPS) targets.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
BT VP: Women Should Fill Security Talent Gap

7|5|17   |   6:00   |   (2) comments


By 2020 there will be six security jobs for every qualified worker, and Kate Kuehn, vice president of Security for BT in the Americas, says BT wants to encourage women to fill the shortage in jobs.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future
Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Editor, 7/26/2017
What's a Little Throttling Between Friends?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 7/24/2017
The Hidden (Human) Cost of Automation
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 7/26/2017
Huawei Slowdown Casts Pall Over Network Sector
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/27/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.