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    Active Ecosystem

Utilities 101

Utilities 101

Utilities are companies and government entities providing basic amenities such as electricity, natural gas, water and more. It is a large and important sector of the U.S. economy that affects every person and business on a daily basis.

Utilities are currently going through fundamental changes to their business. People are using energy differently to do things like charge electric vehicles and generate their own energy through solar panels. Terms like Grid Modernization, ADMS, DERS and Digitization of the Grid all reflect the efforts that the utility industry is undertaking to use data generated by sensors and machines to make smart decisions. Anterix enables near real-time wireless communications for these modernizing utility systems, and Anterix Active Ecosystem partners are providing foundational technology for industry-wide improvements.


  1. Moving from central generation to two-way
  2. Industry makeup graphic

Utilities generally fall into one of three categories:

Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs) – IOUs are large utilities with stock owned by shareholders. Nearly 75% of U.S. utility customers get power from IOUs, though they are concentrated on the East and West coasts. As of 2019, the two largest IOUs by customers served were in Florida and California: Florida Power and Light Co, with 5.01 million customers, and Southern California Edison Company, with 4.12 million customers.

Municipal/Publicly-Owned Utilities (POUs) – POUs include federal, state and municipal-run utilities. In addition to government entities, political subdivisions may run POUs, also called public utility districts—utilities that residents vote into existence that operate independently of city or country government. There are nearly 2,000 electric POUs in the U.S. averaging over 12,000 customers each. The largest are the state-run Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), with 1.47 million customers, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, a municipal utility with 1.43 million customers.

Cooperatives – Also called Co-ops, Cooperatives are not-for-profit, member-owned utilities. There are co-ops in 47 states but are more prevalent in the Midwest and Southeast. The U.S. has over 800 electricity co-ops, each averaging nearly 25,000 customers. Pedernales Electric Cooperative, based in Johnson City, Texas, is the largest distribution electric co-op in the U.S., serving over 300,000 customers across an 8,100-square-mile service area.


Utility grids as currently built won’t be able to meet the demands of future customers, and they are not able to fully take advantage of technological advances that can enable new efficiencies and profit centers. Technology innovators, as well as utilities themselves, are working to develop the tools and technologies needed to measure, analyze, predict, protect and control the grid of the future.

Members of the Anterix Active Ecosystem are poised to deliver game-changing products and services to the utility industry, helping propel the industry towards fully modernized grids. The improvements for utilities are expected to be immense and rapid, as are the benefits to consumers and businesses across the nation.

Anterix is architecting a new foundation that enables the modernization of critical infrastructure for energy, transportation, logistics and others. Help us spread the word.