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Smart grid could fuel telco-utility company mergers

“Everything we were seeing was that broadband power line was not working,” said Burrow, who came from the telco side of the business. “We realized the electric utilities would be deploying fiber, and they probably wouldn’t deploy it just for the smart grid. If they were going to go to that expense, it would be inevitable that at some level they would compete against us.”

What appealed to the telco was not only that it could neutralize a potential competitor and gain a customer, the company also would be extending service to areas not in the telco’s existing footprint, paving the way for future growth on the telco side.