Chase on Smart Energy

Dave Chase's observations of developments and opportunities in the emerging Smart Energy field.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Why the Power and Telephone industries should work together

Steven R. Rivkin is a Washington, DC telecommunications and energy lawyer who has long advocated common initiatives between electric and telecommunications providers. In this article, he lays out the case why these two industries should work together. Here’s an excerpt of the article:

Power and telco, the two legacy infrastructures, can help each other, exchanging services for capital. Though utilities seldom outsource mission-critical facilities or functions, their other connectivity choices are technically and economically inferior. Wireless, satellite, broadband powerline (BPL), etc. are not sufficiently reliable, versatile, cheap, and ubiquitous. And most utilities are clueless about how to cope with the expense and excess bandwidth if they were to try to run fiber to every house themselves.

But telcos could choose to host the Smart Grid for utilities, gaining much needed revenue and even capital investments for making critical telecommunications available in fortuitously adjacent facilities. Moreover, telcos could also benefit politically from allying with another local utility to deliver digital data with huge public benefits, rather than just packages of video entertainment that invite local franchise fees comparable to those on cable television.


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