At the opening session of the latest Itron Utility Week, Philip Mezey, President and CEO of Itron, laid out a future in which electric utilities will own communications networks that can be leveraged by gas and water utilities, and smart city applications — weather street lighting or autonomous vehicles. Mezey pointed out that this sort of model, single multi-party networks, isn’t entirely a reality yet and that most utilities are still leveraging their communications for meter-based communications. But he noted that even though this is tomorrow, “Tomorrow is not that far away.”

This paper highlights common threads that arose during a panel moderated by Zpryme’s Research Director, Christine Richards, at Itron Utility Week. The conversation, around the utility industry moving toward a new communication model, tapped into several themes:

  • When does it start? Really, it already has.
  • Who needs to be at the table? Everyone.
  • Challenges include more than funding
  • The terms of sharing: trust