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Navigant: Fiber Deployments Can Help Position Utility Companies for Growth

July 31, 2018 By Molly White in

Fundamental changes in the energy industry are creating revenue opportunities for utility company fiber deployment, according to a new report from Navigant Research.

“Utilities that make calculated investments in fiber optic networking today, as well as tactical partnerships across and around their operating territories, stand to be well-positioned as the energy economy shifts to a more distributed, competitive model,” Richelle Elberg, a principal research analyst with Navigant Research, said in a press release. “Utilities can use their existing infrastructure and rights of way to economically deploy fiber capacity and capitalize on it via wholesale leasing or even retail broadband service offerings.”

Utility Company Fiber Deployment

“Building the Fiber Backbone for Utility Needs Today and Tomorrow” suggests that costs should not be used to rule out building such networks. Utilities should proactively explore a future-proof fiber networking strategy in conjunction with neighboring utilities or telephone companies, researchers advise. The utilities also should consider a retail broadband strategy and get ready for competition from incumbent providers.

The utility and telecommunication industries sometimes have a strained relationship – a situation that could be exacerbated as telcos look to use utility company infrastructure to support small cells used for 5G networks. Utilities also may be wary of using telco infrastructure because they fear that their applications will degrade during emergencies.

But these challenges can often be turned into joint venture and partnership opportunities. Finley has successfully helped both telecom and utility clients bridge these challenges and develop successful networking partnership opportunities.