Utilities and Communications


Telecommunications

Fiber-optic, Cable and Wireless Broadband

Sarasota County voice, data and video service providers are satisfying industry’s need for speed with next-generation broadband technologies. Comcast of West Florida is a cable operator offering integrated two-way products and features from a single connection.

Comcast high-speed Internet service offers a basic speed tier of 12 Mbps downstream, and 2 Mbps upstream and a premium tier that delivers 50 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps upstream. Using Comcast’s privately managed broadband network, Comcast offers Comcast Digital Voice Service, providing customers digital-quality phone service with unlimited direct-dial local and long distance calling, Web access to voicemail, and E911.

Verizon extends fiber-optic and digital optic capabilities to all industrial and commercial zones in Sarasota County. It maintains SONET (Synchronous Optical Network) rings; central office-based PBX; T1 (1.544 Mbps) to D3 (45 Mbps) circuits; frame relay; Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN); ATM and GigE networking; and video conferencing.

Verizon’s FiOS (Fiber-Optic Services) provides the bandwidth and speed for next-generation Internet access, voice and digital-high definition video applications. Separate pulses of light carried on the fiber network provide consumers with Internet speeds rated the fastest and most reliable by the Federal Communications Commission in 2011 testing, with up to 150 Mbps download speeds and upload speeds up to 35 Mbps (currently); and to accommodate multiple high-definition television sets and 3D television.

Verizon discounts bundles of Internet and unlimited voice services for businesses.

Utilities

Electrical Power

Florida Power & Light Company is the largest electric utility in Florida and one of the largest rate-regulated utilities in the United States. FPL serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is a leading employer in the state with approximately 10,000 employees. The company consistently outperforms national averages for service reliability while its typical customer bills are 25 percent below the national average.

In addition, FPL offers an economic development rate for commercial and industrial businesses that provides significant savings above and beyond the company’s very competitive electric rates. The special rate is available to new or expanding customers that add at least 350 kilowatts of new load and create 25 new jobs per 350 kilowatts of added load. Additional incentives may be available for occupying a property that has been vacant for at least six months. FPL’s economic development rates can potentially save a 350-kW business customer an additional $9,500 to $12,000 in the first year, which helps offset the costs of starting up, expanding or moving their operations to Sarasota County. Find details at www.PoweringFlorida.com or inquire via email to PoweringFlorida@fpl.com.

A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and one of the leading energy efficiency programs among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.FPL.com

Natural Gas

Peoples Gas is Florida’s leading provider of natural gas with more than 350,000 customers statewide. A subsidiary of TECO Energy, an energy holding company headquartered in Tampa, Peoples Gas has served residential, commercial and industrial customers in Sarasota County for more than 30 years. The Gulfstream Natural Gas Pipeline opened in 2002, boosting the reliability of the supply chain and increasing natural gas transmission capacity into Florida. The pipeline runs along the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico from Alabama to just south of Tampa. TECO Peoples Gas promotes incentive-based conservation and operational efficiency programs.

Water

Sarasota County draws water from several sources, including its own well fields and supplies purchased from Manatee County and the Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority. Sarasota County Utilities’ monthly utility rates are among some of the lowest in the region, 

Blue Sky Thinking