PLT could allow energy companies to provide Internet, voice, and data via the grid, but technological hurdles and fierce competition remain obstacles.
Wait for the "second wave," when new products help suppliers escape the trench warfare of pricing.
Telecoms may offer IOUs a model for multiplying market caps by dividing their shareholdings.
April 1, 2000
They see leasing and dark fiber as "no-risk" ventures, with more upside potential.
Few seem ready to predict when demand might wane for rights-of-way for long-haul telecommunications. The consensus suggests a long-lived market - with interstate natural gas pipelines primed to take advantage. The question seems not so much whether to dive in, but how deeply to get involved.
Should pipelines stick to leasing rights-of-way to carriers? Or should they lay fiber and perhaps offer their own long-haul services?
In fending off the special interests, Congress spawned new inequities.
The fourth anniversary of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 most likely will be celebrated with more groans than cheers. The law set out to create "a pro-competitive, deregulatory national policy framework designed to accelerate rapidly private sector deployment of advanced telecommunications and information services to all Americans by opening all telecommunications markets to competition,"[Fn.1] but that objective has not been fulfilled.
The supplier that bundles energy and telecom services into a single, low bill will win out, say residential customers. Will it be the electric company?
The increasingly busy lifestyle Americans lead could play into the hands of energy suppliers able to ease that burden, according to the findings of a national survey.
Consulting firm PHB Hagler Bailly found that 45 percent of residential customers would consider their energy company as a supplier of telephone service.
An alternative measure of performance - not based on dividends, earnings growth or P/E ratios.
How to place a value on a utility company? That is the question.
The traditional models no longer work very well. Dividend discount models will not work well if utilities cut dividends and buy back stock to return capital to the shareholders. Earnings growth offers no reliable performance gauge either, as utilities acquire or divest large amounts of capital. Restructuring charges often become necessary to shift resources to their best use.