Utility Opportunities and Transformation

Tuesday, May 5th | 11am EDT

You're invited to join David Stokes, Senior Manager of Portfolio Marketing and Greg Zweig, Director of Solutions Marketing for Ribbon Communications on May 5th at 11am EDT for our webinar focused on Utility Opportunities and Transformation.

In this webinar we explore the growing opportunities for utilities to generate extra revenue streams by offering communications services. Recently, there have been both FCC initiatives (e.g., the RDOF program) and state Public Utility Commission (PUC) regulatory relief that incent and permit utilities to address these growing needs.

In offering these services the utilities will transform to become UTelcos. We will examine the services these UTelcos are uniquely placed to offer, whether this be providing consumer and business broadband services to geographies significantly underserved by traditional service providers, municipalities evolving to become “smart”, hosted voice services or the significant backhaul transport capacity soon to be required by the mobile network operators rolling out 5G.

Many utilities already have the communications networks in place for their own internal purposes such as OT/IT convergence solutions, SCADA modernization solutions, voice solutions, and security solutions. The question becomes how to leverage and extend those assets – not for operational cost reductions or simplifications – but for service delivery and revenue generation.

Join us May 5th as we cover all of the below and more:

  • Service opportunities
  • Emerging regulatory incentives
  • Models for Utility Companies
  • Case Studies
  • Ribbon enabling solutions
    • Packet and optical aggregation and transport
    • Hosted applications
    • Analytics
    • Session border control
David Stokes | Ribbon Communications
David Stokes
Sr. Manager of Portfolio Marketing
Ribbon Solutions Marketing
Greg Zweig | Ribbon Communications
Greg Zweig
Director, Solutions Marketing
Ribbon Solutions Marketing

WEBINAR: Utility Opportunities and Transformation

Tuesday, May 5th | 11am EDT


Utility Opportunities and Transformation

Why are we here? The market is changing and there’s basically a Gold Rush going on for broadband and Telecom Services. There’s a major change as a result of the FCC reverse auction for 6 million homes and businesses. It’s called RDOF (Rural Development Opportunity Fund) fund and in October 2020, they’ll open Phase 1 bidding, which is for approximately 16 billion of the 20 billion in overall funding that's going on. Unlike some previous programs, the FCC has announced, this one is very much focused on performance. It's not just a low-cost bidder but it's the bidder who delivers the highest quality bandwidth in these rural areas. There's about a 6-year time frame in which they expect build-out happen, but importantly, there is definitely a requirement for the winners to move forward quickly because they have to have 40% of their build done by the end of month 36 in order to qualify.

What's also compelling about this opportunity is it's so broad-based. There are real opportunities in almost every state in the country. For example, New York and Alaska are both listed as 0 and that's because the FCC has made a decision that those two states already have some statewide funding in place for Broadband. So they didn't qualify for the RDOF program.But for all of the other states, there's a substantial opportunity almost no matter where your properties are located. Ribbon has the tools that are needed for a Utility to become a Telco provider. Ribbon Communications has Packet and Optical Solutions. Ribbon has tools for Broadband aggregation, in other words, how to bring and deliver Rural Broadband and how to manage that in the core. Ribbon has the ability to deliver 4G and 5G backhaul Ribbon has a complete package for Cloud Communications, so the Utility doesn’t have to go out and develop and build its own Telco environment to offer Telco services to those 6 million homes. Ribbon can also layer on top of all that analytics for security and tools to provide a secure experience for your customers.

Some trends in the industry that we are noticing are that there is a definite digital divide between the urban and the rural areas. This continues to increase especially as we get an expense exponential traffic growth driving all sorts of applications and most and video-based. That may be experiencing right now over the last month or so with just how much capacity the network demands and for those in rural areas, how much that’s a problem. This is why we need to address this digital divide. In addition, just around the horizon, 5G is being implemented and that requires a huge amount of connectivity and capacity which isn't there at the moment. There's a pending discussion around a 5G fund and that may increase the need and ability to do backhaul for 5G. Within your businesses and industries, the IoT and the IIoT networks become increasingly complex with the need to support smart and the evolution of smart devices. Then, of course, there’s the necessity of security. Both in your industry and in all the services that you might provide as a retail business service. It’s a very dynamic environment.

Why might you be really well placed to address this as a Utility Telco? Well, firstly you're authorized to gain access to lay fibers across the network. You are used to doing this infrastructure and you know how to do it. You've got great experience in this space. Secondly, you have the infrastructure and equipment like fibers and fibers towers, switches, routers, transmission equipment, to support your day-to-day utility operation that can be leveraged really successfully. In addition, over the small mom-and-pop telecoms firms, you already have established really good relationships and brand image both on a B2B and the B2C type arrangements. You have the trust of the consumer and enterprise businesses. You also have the knowledge and the know-how on how to run a telecom network because you run a working IoT network. Now it's about taking that to the next level. There are a few issues to deal with like regulation, how to become registered as a telecom service provider. Do you need to what are the rules? What are the financial incentives? What is the competitive landscape? Well, it's Ribbon’s belief that if you are the Rural market, there's not much competition.