The Internet of Things is challenging regulated utilities.

A power pole collapses at 8 p.m. on a hot night in the remote outback of Australia. This is a problem for William and Olivia Munroe, who raise sheep and cattle 100 miles outside an old gold mining town on the edge of the Great Victoria Desert. In the summer, the temperature frequently soars close to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Their children attend school via satellite link, the family’s only means of accessing health services in case of illness or emergency. Although the Munroes have a backup generator, it can’t power the water pumps, communications, and air-conditioning for long. In short, their lives depend entirely upon reliable energy.

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