|NU votes to offer Internet and auxillary services|
During a special called meeting Friday, the Board of Directors of Newport Utilities(NU) gave its final approval to the authorization of additional services to include video, Internet, and related offerings. The approval followed the positive comments received during a public hearing held June 1. The approval by the Board brings NU one step closer to being able to implement a fiber-optic Electric Smart Grid network. The infrastructure, which includes fiber to electric meters, will "improve operational efficiency for the utility, reduce peak power demand, lower operating costs, decrease power outage restoration time, increase reliability, enable advances in Automatic Metering applications, and build the platform necessary to offer energy efficiency programs", according to General Manager Glenn Ray. In to benefiting the utility itself, the Smart Grid will allow NU to provide citizens in its service area access to affordable, reliable high-capacity broadband services, including service to many areas that currently have no available Internet. The Newport City Council will meet to consider the Board’s request for approval of the additional services on June 20. A full roll-out of the service is expected to take several years.