Utility communications and information technology study

June 18, 2010—The Utilities Telecom Council and Verizon have announced plans to conduct a study of the communications and information technology requirements of the nation’s utilities. The first-of-its-kind study will identify the unique requirements of the utility industry to ensure safe, reliable and cost-effective energy grids for the 21st century.

The analysis will encompass a wide range of factors that should be considered when designing and delivering the essential services that will facilitate the adoption of smart-grid technology. The project will culminate in a report that provides key recommendations and approaches on how utilities and the communications industry should approach critical infrastructure communications in the era of the smart grid. The report will be completed in September and will be available to all UTC utility members.

“With all the communications challenges facing utilities today with smart grid and emergency-response requirements, utilities will need partners,” said William R. Moroney, UTC president and chief executive officer. “To be successful, utilities and their technology partners will need to have a common understanding of the technological, operational and financial factors that are the foundations for all the communications needs of utilities.”

Mike Lanman, president enterprise and government markets for Verizon Wireless, said, “Our two industries share a common goal to help evolve the way we consume and distribute energy in the most efficient manner. Verizon will play a critical role delivering the advanced solutions that meet the specific needs of our utility customers. This survey will be a catalyst in creating a deeper dialogue between our two industries, so that we can identify and address current industry concerns and opportunities.”

The study will be guided by focus-group discussions this month with top telecom technologists at UTC member utility companies, followed by in-depth questionnaires and background research into the business and technical issues shaping utility telecommunications.

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