Navigant Research Report Shows Adopting a Fiber Optic Backbone Is a Strategic Imperative for Utilities’ Long-term Success

Utilities and service providers must be proactive in developing future-proof fiber network strategies

BOULDER, Colo.--()--A new report from Navigant Research examines the revenue streams that private fiber optic networks can offer utilities and how smart grid networks and applications can be optimized.

As the energy economy shifts to a more distributed, competitive model, utility investment in fiber optic networks is growing. Smart grid investments and applications will be optimized due to access to high capacity fiber networks, and there will be many opportunities for new revenue generation. Click to tweet: According to a new report from @NavigantRSRCH, fiber optic networking through a utility’s territory is a strategic imperative for long-term success.

“Utilities that make calculated investments in fiber optic networking today, as well as tactical partnerships across and around their operating territories, stand to be well-positioned as the energy economy shifts to a more distributed, competitive model,” says Richelle Elberg, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “Utilities can use their existing infrastructure and rights of way to economically deploy fiber capacity and capitalize on it via wholesale leasing or even retail broadband service offerings.”

According to the report, utilities should not rule out fiber networks based on cost alone. Instead, Navigant Research recommends utilities be proactive in developing a future-proof, fiber networking strategy by forming partnerships with neighboring utilities or telephone companies, considering a retail broadband strategy, and preparing for competition from incumbent providers.

This report, Building the Fiber Backbone for Utility Needs Today and Tomorrow, provides an overview of why utilities should carefully consider building a private fiber network—or leasing local capacity—despite its relatively high costs. It describes the multiple revenue streams that a private fiber network can enable and how smart grid networks and applications can be optimized. Cost estimates for various types of installations are provided. The report also describes the utelco business model and includes case studies of various utility fiber projects. Finally, recommendations for utilities evaluating fiber optic networks and their use cases are included. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

About Navigant

Navigant Research, the dedicated research arm of Navigant, provides market research and benchmarking services for rapidly changing and often highly regulated industries. In the energy sector, Navigant Research focuses on in-depth analysis and reporting about global clean technology markets. The team’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Energy Technologies, Utility Transformations, Transportation Efficiencies, and Buildings Innovations sectors. Additional information about Navigant Research can be found at

About Navigant

Navigant Consulting, Inc. is a specialized, global professional services firm that helps clients take control of their future. Navigant’s professionals apply deep industry knowledge, substantive technical expertise, and an enterprising approach to help clients build, manage and/or protect their business interests. With a focus on markets and clients facing transformational change and significant regulatory or legal pressures, the Firm primarily serves clients in the healthcare, energy and financial services industries. Across a range of advisory, consulting, outsourcing, and technology/analytics services, Navigant’s practitioners bring sharp insight that pinpoints opportunities and delivers powerful results. More information about Navigant can be found at

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Building the Fiber Backbone for Utility Needs Today and Tomorrow, is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.


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