Electric utilities are beginning to make heavy use of fiber for a number of applications beyond transmission of voice and data among operating centers and plant facilities which employed fiber on the electric transmission systems. These additional uses include load management and automatic meter reading. Thus, utilities are beginning to place fiber on the electric distribution systems which, in many cases covers the same customer base as the "local loop". This shift to fiber on the distribution system is due to the advantages offered by fiber and because of congestion in the radio bands used for load management. This shift to fiber has been facilitated by a regulatory policy permitting utilities to lease reserve capacity on their fiber systems on an unregulated basis. This, in turn, has interested electric utilities in building fiber to their residential and commercial customers for voice, data and video. This will also provide for sophisticated load management systems and, possibly, generation of revenue.
Charles M. Meehan,
"Fiber in the Local Loop: The Role of Electric Utilities", Proc. SPIE 1179, Fiber Networking and Telecommunications, (15 January 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.963435; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.963435