Technological innovation and deregulation are shattering the ability of electric utilities to maintain previously monopolistic business practices as competition becomes a reality in the industry. Electric utilities will need to look at reengineering their business practices and for ways they can diversify their operations if they are to maintain their potential for profitability.
Utilization of telecommunications applications offers electric utilities a means for reengineering and diversifying into emerging marketplaces. This will have the effect of improving the services electric companies are able to offer their customers and it provides an additional method for attaining the economic advantages of a national information infrastructure. Regulatory impediments should be removed and a new regulatory framework that goes beyond regulation into promoting the industry and insuring the public interest through public action should be developed to facilitate utility entry into telecommunications.