Business and residential electric customers in Bristol, Tennessee are experiencing shorter power outages thanks to recent upgrades to the city’s municipal fiber-optic network. And collectively, that represents annual savings of about $6 million for electric users, according to the CEO of the Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES):
In an opinion piece for the Bristol Herald Courier newspaper, BTES CEO Mike Browder, said a recent upgrade to the electric system, which uses the city’s fiber-optic network, has helped cut power outage time by 35 percent:
“Our goal is less than 60 minutes average outage time per year per customer. In 2015, we exceeded that goal, reducing our outage time to 34 minutes per customer.”
According to BTES' About Us page, customers who lose power can depend on the smart grid to alert the utility to any outages:
Those customers with fiber services to their homes have automatic power outage detection, meaning that they do not need to make a telephone call if their power goes out. In addition, the system provides automatic meter reading and theft detection.
Browder offered this example in his piece:
"BTES recently had an outage that caused half of The Pinnacle, including Bass Pro Shops and Belk, to lose power. Using the fiber optic system, the BTES electric system automatically opened one switch and closed three more in sequence while testing each section of line. All of The Pinnacle had service restored in less than one minute!"
Bristol’s Smart Network
Reducing outage time is among a number of benefits that Bristol's 26,000 residents and its local businesses are enjoying from the city’s municipal fiber network, which it launched in 2005. The city also uses the infrastructure for fast, reliable, affordable connectivity in the community.