99+% of the web sites covering optical fiber telecommunications are devoted to telephone company networks, cable TV or internal corporate local area networks. Why do we have one covering electric utilities?
Power utilities are important players behind the scenes of the continent's fiber grids. Municipalities, Electric Coops and Investor Owned Electric Utilities are all working toward SmartGrid and increased reliability of their systems.
In fact, electric utilities and municipalities own about 5 to 10% of the fiber deployed in the U.S. and Canada. Almost every large investor-owned or government utility has extensive fiber networks. Even most small utilities with more than 10,000 customers have their own fiber networks. Power utilities are in a unique position to play an important and profitable part in the increasingly important telecommunications revolution. They own the overhead power lines connecting their facilities already; why not use the same poles to connect the data between the same facilities?
Some utilities use their fiber for their own internal telecommunications needs, which are considerable. Others lease extra fibers in their cables to competitive telecommunications companies, thus acting as "carriers' carriers"; this makes money for them while keeping construction costs down for their carrier customers. In many markets, utilities have moved beyond the carriers' carrier business to serving large corporate or institutional clients and provide dark fiber links for economic growth.
Utility fiber networks have the additional advantage of being more reliable. The cables used are stronger than traditional fiber cables and they are located high on the poles or towers, literally guarded by high voltage lines.
Working with fiber optics in power utility environments requires overlapping understanding of not just fiber optic technology but also electrical power transmission and distribution since the fiber cables are so closely integrated physically and operationally with the utilities power operations.
Few people in fiber optics or power understand both worlds, but we do. It's a fascinating and dynamic field to specialize in and we've enjoyed helping it grow and evolve for almost two decades.
Bottom line, we serve Municipalities, Electric Coops and Investor-Owned Electric Utilities.