UTC Asks Energy Regulator to Meet with FCC on Spectrum Policies
Wednesday, May 09, 2018 | Comments

The Utilities Technology Council (UTC) filed comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding its grid-resilience proceeding, asking the commission to coordinate with the FCC on spectrum regulation.

The UTC filing calls attention to the importance of utility information and communications technology (ICT) networks, which serve as the backbone for the nation’s transmission grid. UTC asked the FERC to reach out to hold formal meetings with the FCC as the energy and telecommunications industries converge.

“In the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Congress authorized the FCC to award spectrum through auction, although it also exempted utilities from competitive bidding of spectrum, given the importance of utility services to the country,” the filing said. “Despite this congressional requirement, the FCC continues to treat utilities as any other commercial entity when it comes to spectrum policies.”

The council made a similar request to lawmakers last month.

“Not only is spectrum needed for day-to-day reliability on the bulk power system, but it is essential for “smart grid” and utility of the future applications,” UTC said. “As the use of these resources grows, electric utilities will need more spectrum to continue the reliable operation of their systems. If the transition to a more consumer-centric, distributed utility industry is going to be realized, a clear recognition of these cross-sector interdependencies must be understood and collaboration across government must occur regardless of jurisdictional boundaries.”

The filing is here.

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