Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Georgia Power Announces Wireless Co-location on Select Transmission Towers

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Georgia Power and Southern Telecom, both subsidiaries of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), unveiled Georgia’s first wireless co-location program. The program allows wireless providers to co-locate communications infrastructure, such as antennas, on select Georgia Power electric transmission facilities.

“Rather than build costly new towers in congested areas, the co-location program allows wireless companies to take advantage of the hundreds of existing structures throughout Georgia Power’s footprint,” said W. Scott Hall, Georgia Power project manager. “Not only does this save time and improve coverage but it also avoids cluttering the skyline with additional wireless towers, thereby maximizing the available green space for our environment.”

In December 2006, Commissioner Stan Wise asked Georgia Power to investigate the feasibility of allowing wireless co-locations on Transmission towers. In February, Georgia Power and the Georgia Public Service Commission reached an agreement to launch the state’s first wireless co-location program. As part of the agreement, Southern Telecom will manage the requests from wireless carriers that choose to participate in the co-location program.

“With more than 260 million wireless subscribers in the United States today, wireless usage is at an all-time high,” said Ben H. Easterling, business development manager, Southern Telecom. “Thanks to the new co-location program, Georgia Power and Southern Telecom will be able to provide cellular carriers in Georgia with a viable and alternative way to improve coverage so that wireless customers can stay even more connected to friends, family members and business associates.”

Outside of Georgia, there are wireless co-location programs in 11 other states including California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee.

“Using their robust network of facilities and fiber infrastructure, utilities are in the unique position to provide reliable support for commercial wireless carriers in the areas of antenna siting, backhaul and construction,” said Ron Bilodeau, Nevada Power Company and chairman of Utilisite Council (www.utilisite.org).

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