Updated: AT&T is in the process of developing a home energy management service, which it plans to market to its wireless and wireline customers, according to AT&T Executive Director of Public Policy Jeffery Dygert, who made the remarks on a panel I moderated last week for the Broadband Breakfast Club in Washington, D.C. (see video embed below, and his explanation at about the five-minute mark).
Dygert wouldn’t elaborate on when the service would be available, but it will be included in its Digital Life Project that would create a platform in the home for home security, monitoring, telehealth, energy efficiency and smart grid tools. GigaOM reporter Kevin Fitchard reported more on the Digital Life Project service last week, and he said it will initially launch in Atlanta.
This isn’t the first indication AT&T is getting into home energy and the digital home. Last year, AT&T acquired Xanboo, a decade-old firm that was one of the original home automation players which enables home owners to monitor security, energy consumption and digital media across devices.
Verizon has a similar service it already launched in pilot form in January in New Jersey and has plans to offer commercially to the rest of its customers where its fiber network is available. Update: A Verizon spokesperson tells me the service launched commercially last month. Verizon’s pilot included an energy reading device, a smart thermostat, smart appliance control devices, and a smart power strip, among other applications. Verizon is working with Motorola’s 4Home, as well as Ingersoll-Rand for the security applications.
Telecom companies are looking to offer digital home services, with energy management as just a piece of that. The number of wireless subscribers in the U.S. has plateaued, and phone companies are looking to sell other services and use their networks for more applications.