We attended the UTC Telecom Conference in Phoenix, AZ May 5-7, 2014. This was a well-attended event by many utilities, network equipment vendors, engineering firms, and systems integrators. Some of the major market level topics discussed were:
*Communications Networks for Smart Grids
*Rural Broadband and Utilities becoming "Utelcos"
*The end of the PSTN and its impact on Utility Telecommunications
This conference encompassed the "core" business of Fiber Manager: utilities trying to track, plan, and manage their legacy communications infrastructure, while keeping an eye on the future trends of Fiber to the Home, the IP transition, and more advanced requirements for managing circuits, and the coming expansion of the Smart Grid. One of the key messages throughout the conference was that there will be a shift towards more utilities operating their own, private networks instead of relying on service provider networks It's obvious that folks in the communications industry are seeing the modernization of utility communications networks as a logical extension to their existing service provider and traditional telecommunications business. The show floor was occupied by many of the major telecommunications vendors and Schneider Electric is looking forward to having a greater presence at this conference in future years.