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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…

UTC ‘Troubled’ by FCC Regulations Preempting Local Review of Small-Cell Devices

Washington—Sept. 26, 2018 – Utilities Technology Council President and CEO Joy Ditto issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission established a new rule lowering the costs and restricting the time municipalities—including public-power utilities—have to review small-cellular device siting applications: “We are still reviewing today’s action by the Federal Communications Commission. At first blush, we are troubled by the Commission’s decision to threaten to preempt local authorities who are best suited to review applications to site small-wireless facilities. The utility industry understands the need for regulatory certainty when it comes to infrastructure projects. Planning system upgrades, replacements, and new infrastructure takes time and money, so a deliberate review is essential to the process. Such review gives the public confidence that any new infrastructure is…

UTC President, CEO Joy Ditto Issues Statement on Hurricane Florence

Washington—Sept. 14, 2018 – Utilities Technology Council President and CEO Joy Ditto issued the following statement as Hurricane Florence impacts the North and South Carolina coasts: “On behalf of the Utilities Technology Council, I send my thoughts and prayers to those impacted by Hurricane Florence. This is a dangerous storm, with long-lasting torrential wind and rain wreaking havoc on the region’s infrastructure. I also send my sincere thanks and commendations to the tens of thousands of utility workers who are mobilized and ready to restore electricity service as soon as it is safe to do so. “As always, I am in awe of how our industry responds to these events. Our utilities may be incredibly diverse in ownership, business model, and service territory, but we…

UTC’s Ditto Congratulates Starks Upon FCC Nomination

Utilities Technology Council President and CEO Joy Ditto issued the following statement congratulating Geoffrey Starks on his nomination to the Federal Communications Commission: “On behalf of the Utilities Technology Council, I send our congratulations to Geoffrey Starks upon his nomination to the Federal Communications Commission. Through his current work at the agency in the Enforcement Bureau and his service at the Department of Justice, Mr. Starks clearly has the resume for the job. If confirmed, he would be joining the agency at an exciting and important time. “The energy and telecommunications industries are becoming more interdependent, particularly as utilities build upon their private Information and Communications Technology (ICT) networks to modernize and bolster the resilience of their infrastructure, and respond to shifting customer expectations. Interference-free…

UTC Members Elect Southern Company’s Bryant as New Board Chair

Palm Springs, Calif., May 10, 2018 – Energy and water utility representatives across the U.S. approved a new slate of officers to lead the Utilities Technology Council (UTC), effective immediately through June 2019. At UTC’s Annual Telecom & Technology Meeting today in Palm Springs, Calif., UTC’s core members elected Roger Bryant, IT Project Manager, Telecom Services at Southern Company Services, as its new Chairman of the Board. Mr. Bryant succeeds Immediate Past Chair Kathy Nelson of Great River Energy. UTC members also elected Greg Angst, Engineer in the Telecom Design Group at CenterPoint Energy, as its Vice Chair, and Kevin Huff, Telecommunications Operations Manager at Salt River Project, as its Secretary/Treasurer. Each officer will serve a one-year term. UTC is the global association at the...

UTC Awards Recognize Importance of ICT Networks to Grid Reliability, Resilience

Palm Springs, Calif., May 10, 2018 – The Utilities Technology Council (UTC) marked the launch of its annual Telecom & Technology conference by distributing numerous awards to utilities and personnel who demonstrated initiative, perseverance, and innovative thinking throughout the past year. UTC’s awards recognize the importance of utility Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems and the employees who build, operate, and maintain these systems to the reliability, resilience, and safety of the nation’s electric systems. From storm response to day-to-day reliability, ICT networks provide opportunities for communities to enhance economic prosperity, provide innovative new services, and support health, education and access to critical services. UTC distributes these awards every year during a reception and dinner at the Telecom & Technology conference. This year’s conference is...
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