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5G, Spectrum, Broadband, Grid Modernization Highlight UTC Annual Conference

Washington—May 22, 2019 – Cybersecurity, utilities and 5G, grid modernization, spectrum access for wireless deployment, grid resilience, utilities’ rural broadband deployment, and the growing convergences between the energy and telecom sectors are among the several topics being discussed at the June 17-21 Utilities Technology Council’s annual Telecom and Technology conference in Fort Worth, TX. Hundreds of utility executives, engineers, vendors, and other utility and technology officials will participate in the highly anticipated event. Confirmed speakers include Joao Torres, CEO of EDP Distribuição of Portugal, Malia Hodges, CIO of Oncor Electric Delivery (the conference’s host utility), Energy Storage Association CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman, Common Ground Alliance President and CEO Sarah Magruder Lyle, and North American Transmission Forum CEO Tom Galloway. In addition, Shawn Rhodes, a motivational speaker,…

New UTC Paper Seeks to Cut Through 5G ‘Hype’ for Utilities

Washington—March 12, 2019 – UTC and its global affiliates released a new white paper focusing on the emergence of 5G communications and whether and how utilities—particularly electric—will be impacted. The new white paper—“Cutting Through the Hype: 5G and Its Potential Impacts on Electric Utilities”—frames the numerous issues and challenges electric utilities across the globe confront in adapting as the wireless industry transitions to 5G services. The paper was authored by the Joint Radio Company Ltd. of Coventry, England and was commissioned by UTC and its global affiliates: Africa UTC, European UTC, and UTC America Latina. Importantly, the paper does not offer policy proposals or a comprehensive plan forward; rather, it seeks to present the issues facing utilities and interested stakeholders as they determine what is…

UTC’s Artz Set to Join Panels on Supply Chain, Dedicated Networks at RSAConference

Washington—Feb. 27, 2019 – UTC Vice President of Government Affairs, Policy, and Cybersecurity Sharla Artz  is participating in one of the most renowned and widely attended security conferences across the globe—the  March 4-8 RSAConference 2019. The RSAConference regularly draws tens of thousands of attendees each year. The event aims to serve critical infrastructure industries, government, security stakeholders, and others with the goal of staying ahead of cybersecurity threats. This year’s conference will be held in San Francisco. Ms. Artz will be participating in two separate sessions—moderating a panel on supply chain concerns on March 6 and speaking on a session on dedicated networks for critical infrastructure on March 8. That she is featured twice demonstrates Ms. Artz’s expertise and reputation among her peers, as RSA…

Major Critical-Infrastructure Industry Organizations Push Back Against FCC Spectrum Proposal

Six major industry organizations representing critical electric, oil, natural gas, and water utilities are united in opposition to a federal proposal that would open up a critical wireless communications band, potentially disrupting crucial communications systems underpinning the safe and reliable delivery of these lifesaving and sustaining services. In a significant show of force, the critical industry organizations said the proposal could cause these entities to re-engineer and rebuild their communications networks–a costly process that could take individual companies 10 years or more—rather than face even the threat that their networks could fail. The entities signing the comments are the American Petroleum Institute, the American Public Power Association, the American Water Works Association, the Edison Electric Institute, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and the Utilities…

UTC Offers Congratulations to Carr, Starks Upon Senate Confirmation

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3, 2019—Utilities Technology Council President & CEO Joy Ditto issued the following statement after the Senate confirmed the nominations of Brendan Carr and Geoffrey Starks to the Federal Communications Commission: “On behalf of the Utilities Technology Council, I would like to offer our congratulations to Brendan Carr and Geoffrey Starks upon securing Senate approval of their nominations to the Federal Communications Commission. Electric, water, and gas utilities are in the midst of profound change. These changes are driving an unprecedented convergence between the utilities and the telecommunications industries. Utilities need access to interference-free spectrum to modernize, protect, and secure their critical infrastructure, and telecommunications carriers rely upon electricity and utility infrastructure to deploy their many of their services. Additionally, more coordination and cooperation…

Utilities Seek Greater Collaboration, Coordination to Improve Disaster Response

Washington—Dec. 18, 2018 – The Utilities Technology Council (UTC) and the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) suggesting ways to improve hurricane response and recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael – including a strategic approach involving ongoing meetings between the FCC and energy policymakers to educate each other about respective policies affecting the energy and communications industries. “These meetings could greatly help to inform the Commission’s policies and provide a forum for considering ways to improve service restoration and cross-sector coordination in the aftermath of emergencies like Hurricane Michael,” EEI and UTC said. Meetings between the FCC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) also “will help to break down silos that may be impairing the ability of…

UTC Congratulates McNamee Upon Senate Confirmation to FERC

Washington—Dec. 6, 2018 – Utilities Technology Council President and CEO Joy Ditto issued the following statement after the Senate confirmed Bernard McNamee to an open seat at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: “On behalf of the Utilities Technology Council, I offer our congratulations to incoming Commissioner Bernard McNamee upon his Senate confirmation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC’s first and primary responsibility is ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of energy services. Utility communication networks are critical to maintaining resilient and secure energy infrastructure. We look forward to working with Commissioner McNamee, Chairman Neil Chatterjee, and Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur, Kevin McIntyre, and Richard Glick on these issues.” ### About UTC The Utilities Technology Council (UTC) is a global trade association dedicated to serving critical…

FCC Proposal to Open 6 GHz Band Could Threaten Utility Communications Networks: UTC

Washington—Oct. 23, 2018 –Utilities Technology Council President and CEO Joy Ditto issued the following statement in response today’s decision by the Federal Communications Commission’s to proceed on a rulemaking to expand the use of the 6 GHz spectrum band: “Many of our nation’s electric, gas and water utilities rely on the 6 GHz spectrum band to underpin the reliable delivery of energy and water services to homes and businesses all over the country. Utilities use the 6 GHz band for their communications networks that support day-to-day, routine reliability, emergency response, storm restoration, and, increasingly for electric utilities, new technologies such as smart meters and integration of distributed energy resources. The 6 GHz band provides utilities and other critical infrastructure industries (CII) with the high-speed, long…

Federal Spectrum Policies Could Threaten Utility Emergency Response; Dialogue Needed, Ditto Says

The electric utility industry has the technologies and processes in place to restore power back to the grid after a widespread outage, though certain federal policies could threaten the industry’s ability to communicate during such an event, UTC President and CEO Joy Ditto told Congress. In testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (SENR) Committee, Ms. Ditto said a better understanding of the growing interdependencies between the electricity and telecommunications industries would help smooth out these problematic policies. The SENR Committee, she said, could take a lead role in encouraging federal agencies to communicate more often, which might result in better policies for both sectors. Ms. Ditto delivered her remarks during the Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s Oct. 11 hearing on blackstart, the process…

Ditto Commends Public-Private Partnerships as National Cyber Month Begins

Washington—Oct. 1, 2018 – Utilities Technology Council President and CEO Joy Ditto issued the following statement in recognition of October as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: “On behalf of the Utilities Technology Council, I wish to acknowledge our support for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Our nation’s electric, water, and gas utilities take the issue of cybersecurity extremely seriously. Indeed, the electric utility industry remains the only industry subject to mandatory cybersecurity standards enforced by the federal government. “Nearly all electric, water, and natural gas utilities operate and maintain their own Information and Communications Technology (ICT) networks. These networks underpin the reliable operation of our nation’s electric, gas, and water infrastructure. As demonstrated by the several annual testing and scenario-training exercises, energy and water utilities are constantly…