Utilities Invest $500 Million in Telecom
According to research conducted by Chartwell Inc., a number of large utilities made major commitments to telecommunications ventures totaling more than $500 million in September and October of 1996. Not since the diversification craze of the 1980s have electric and gas utilities poured such significant dollars into new ventures in such a short period of time.
Virginia Power, for example, has committed to spend $100 million on new technologies, including a wireless AMR system. SCANA Corp. is investing another $75 million to finance the license for a PC`s partnership in the Atlanta Major Trading Area. In addition, Boston Edison has an agreement with RCN Inc. to develop a broadband network to provide one-stop shopping for energy and telecommunications services.
These are just some of the major findings included in a new research work, “The Chartwell Utility Telecommunications Report,” recently released by Chartwell Inc. The new report is one of a series issued by Chartwell on technologies, trends and issues in the utility industry. It includes an analysis section detailing the telecommunications decisions and options facing utilities in the newly deregulated market, as well as the technological advances driving those decisions. Survey results on more than 100 utilities uncover the telecommunications technologies they are using or building, as well as new products and services they are offering or planning, such as Internet access, security services, telephone and television.