WASHINGTON--Utilities Technology Council President and CEO Joy Ditto issued the following statement in support of President Trump’s nomination of Kenneth Johnson to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service: “Kenneth Johnson is an outstanding person to lead the Rural Utilities Service. His background is perfectly suited for this position, as he understands the needs of utilities in rural America. As CEO of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative, he led the utility’s deployment of a fiber-to-the-home broadband network in rural Missouri that provides robust, affordable and reliable broadband services to 15,000 homes and businesses. Mr. Johnson has extensive roots in rural America, serving at both consumer- and publicly owned utilities in the Midwest. On behalf of UTC and our members, I congratulate Mr. Johnson and look forward...

WASHINGTON–Utilities Technology Council President and CEO Joy Ditto issued the following statement applauding the Federal Communications Commission’s approval of procedures for the Connect America Fund Phase II auction: “The Federal Communications Commission took a significant step today in expanding broadband into unserved and underserved communities. While we are still analyzing this morning’s action, we applaud the FCC for moving forward on this important matter. Electric utilities are key facilitators of broadband services. Several UTC member electric utilities are providing broadband to their constituents and beyond in areas that are not well served, if served at all, by private telecommunications providers. The upcoming Connect America Fund II auction could support electric utility access to this funding and go a long way in expanding broadband throughout the U.S.” Editor’s...

WASHINGTON– A federal court gave the Federal Communications Commission too much deference by upholding an order on pole attachments that exceeds the agency’s authority and harms electric utility consumers, the Utilities Technology Council said. In a friend of the court brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, UTC said the Commission’s decision to adopt so-called “cost allocators” for pole attachments subsidizes telecommunications service providers by preventing utilities from recovering the cost of pole attachments, as provided under Section 224(e) of the Communications Act of 1934. Although the FCC claims this policy will expand broadband throughout the country, in practice this has not been the case. “[T]his policy rationale is not supported by the record or in practice; and in any event, detrimentally impacts utilities and electric ratepayers…,” UTC said. The Utilities...

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]WASHINGTON—Utilities Technology Council President and CEO Joy Ditto issue the following statement in response to a report on “Digitizing the Grid: Next Steps on Policy” by the Bipartisan Policy Center: “Although we are still analyzing the conclusions in the report, we applaud the Bipartisan Policy Center for highlighting utilities’ need for spectrum access. Spectrum is a critical component of our nation’s digital future, yet it is also vitally important now to manage the reliability of our electricity grid. UTC appreciates the report’s recommendations on spectrum and joins in its call for increased coordination between the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Although these agencies have distinct missions, the energy and telecommunications sectors are converging rapidly due to grid modernization. These interdependencies will only...

WASHINGTON – Utilities Technology Council President and CEO Joy Ditto issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of David Redl to lead the National Telecommunications and Information Administration: “Congratulations to David Redl upon his confirmation to lead the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Energy and water utilities across the country require spectrum to deliver their critical services reliably and safely. On behalf of the Utilities Technology Council and our members, I look forward to working with Administrator Redl on issues related to spectrum sharing and broadband expansion.”...

WASHINGTON –Utilities Technology Council President and CEO Joy Ditto issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate confirmed the nominations of Kevin McIntyre and Richard Glick to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: “I would like to offer my congratulations to Kevin McIntyre and Richard Glick for their confirmations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). As they know, ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of energy is the agency’s first and foremost responsibility. On behalf of the Utilities Technology Council, I look forward to working with incoming Commissioners McIntyre and Glick, along with Commissioners LaFleur, Powelson, and Chatterjee, on issues related to cybersecurity, reliability, and the need for strong and resilient utility communications networks.”...

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]WASHINGTON—Utilities Technology Council President and CEO Joy Ditto issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate reconfirmed Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai:   “On behalf of the Utilities Technology Council and our members, congratulations to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. Our members are key players in crossing the ‘Digital Divide’ and we look forward to continuing our work with the Chairman and his colleagues at the Commission. Energy and water providers rely on strong, resilient communications networks to provide their essential services across America. The FCC plays a critical role in assuring that our members have access to needed spectrum so their networks can operate without interference. We commend Chairman Pai for his leadership and are excited to move forward."[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]...

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]WASHINGTON – Expanded use of mid-band spectrum by new wireless broadband services could interfere with critical utility networks used for the reliable operation of the nation’s electricity grid, the Utilities Technology Council told federal regulators. Allowing these services into the 6 GHz spectrum bands might also inhibit the use of “smart” electricity technologies that could revolutionize how consumers use and consume power, UTC comments to the Federal Communications Commission said. UTC represents critical electricity, water, and gas utilities who own and operate their own telecommunications systems. Utilities rely on their networks so they can update, modernize, repair, and restore their services that provide essential energy and water resources. The Edison Electric Institute joined in the comments as well. The FCC is inquiring whether it should expand use of...

WASHINGTON - The Utilities Technology Council (UTC) has hired Rob Thormeyer as its first Director of Communications and Advocacy. Thormeyer, who started Aug. 29, will be responsible for media relations, messaging, and developing a strategic communications plan for the organization that will be a critical component of UTC’s advocacy efforts. UTC is the global association at the nexus of the energy, utility and telecommunications industries. Representing critical energy and water providers, UTC advocates for the information and communications technology (ICT) needed for the safe and reliable delivery of these vital services. Reporting to Sharla Artz, UTC’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Policy and Cybersecurity, Thormeyer will help lead outreach to the press, allied associations, and key D.C. stakeholders. “This is such a dynamic time to be involved...

On behalf of the Utilities Technology Council (UTC) and our utility members, we congratulate David Redl, chief counsel of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, on his nomination to be the assistant secretary for Communications & Information at the Department of Commerce and the head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Utilities across the United States require spectrum in order to deliver power reliably and we look forward to working closely with Mr. Redl and the Administration on important spectrum issues to continue driving the investment in utility communications.  UTC has worked closely with NTIA on issues such as spectrum sharing and broadband in the past, and we will continue to do so under Mr. Redl’s leadership....

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2017 -- The UTC Foundation, the charitable arm of the Utilities Technology Council (UTC), presented its first grant to the Energy Production & Infrastructure Center (EPIC) at UNC Charlotte. The contribution was given at an awards dinner on Wednesday, May 10th during the UTC Telecom & Technology conference in Charlotte. The UTC Foundation chose EPIC for its inaugural donation due to the outstanding Smart Grid technology and telecommunications work of the school, which aligns perfectly with the charity's vision of supporting and promoting educational institutions and programs that connect students with utilities and critical infrastructure-related interests. The UTC Foundation's new chairman, Neil Broyles of the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, said of the contribution, "This UTC Foundation donation to the UNC Charlotte Energy...

CHARLOTTE, N.C. and WASHINGTON, D.C.,  May 9, 2017 -- The Utilities Technology Council (UTC) announced the launch of its new charitable arm, the UTC Foundation, at the annual Telecom & Technology conference in Charlotte, N.C. The UTC Foundation is a non-profit organization with the mission of sponsoring educational incentives and programs to attract, retain and support top technology and telecommunications talent to foster the future workforce in critical infrastructure industries. Foundation Chair, Kathy Neilson of Great River Energy, said of the event, "We are thrilled to officially launch the UTC Foundation in Charlotte at UTC Telecom and Technology. Technology and telecommunications is an exciting area in a changing utility industry and the foundation's mission is to encourage young people to enter this exciting industry. We are looking forward to interacting with students through the foundation both...

CHARLOTTE, N.C. and WASHINGTON, D.C., May 11, 2017  -- Utilities Technology Council (UTC) held its annual awards dinner last night in Charlotte at the UTC Telecom & Technology 2017 conference. The celebration dinner, sponsored by Fujitsu Network Communications, honored utilities and individuals who have shown extraordinary initiative throughout the past year. The UTC Awards pay tribute to the critical role of information and communications technologies in delivering essential energy and water services to communities throughout the world. The various UTC awards recognize that in emergencies, utility communications technology saves lives, protects property, speeds restoration, and puts communities on the path to recovery; While every day, utility communications provide opportunities for communities to enhance economic prosperity, provide innovative new services, and support health, education and access to...

WASHINGTON, May 12, 2017 -- At the annual meeting of the membership of the Utilities Technology Council (UTC), the Board of Directors approved new officers for the 2017-2018 board-year. The meeting was held in conjunction with UTC Telecom & Technology conference in Charlotte. Outgoing Chairman, Matt Schnell from Nebraska Public Power District stated, "To be successful in any organization takes a lot of hard work and dedication from a team of people. We accomplished a lot this past year and have set a path forward to continue to provide outstanding member value in the years ahead. The member-led committees and the Executive Board have done outstanding work building membership participation, establishing new technology projects, and providing new learning experiences for UTC members." Schnell followed with, "A...

Washington, D.C., Jan 26, 2017 – The Utilities Technology Council (UTC) congratulates Ajit Pai on his selection by President Trump to be the next Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Pai has been a Commissioner since 2012, and strongly believes in closing the “digital divide.” “We are excited to work with Chairman Pai and his colleagues to ensure that our member electric, natural gas and water utilities are assured access to the information and communications technology they need to ensure the safe, secure and affordable delivery of energy and water services,” said Joy Ditto, President and CEO of UTC. “Bridging the “digital divide” while ensuring utilities have access to interference-free spectrum, will help improve our country’s economic and national security. The FCC plays a critical...