The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission confirmed yesterday that Comcast is talking to a third-party power supplier about a deal that would allow the nation’s largest cable company to sell electric service to its subscribers.
While the PPUC did not name the third-party company, a spokesperson for Princeton-based NRG — which owns Reliant Energy and Energy Plus — told the Inquirer that the company has been working with Comcast “on a new initiative.”
The news of this new, non-telecom venture from Comcast comes at the same time as the cable company announces the end of a highly controversial tie-up between Comcast and Verizon.
It all began back in 2011, when Comcast, Time Warner Cable and other cable providers gave up on their dreams of becoming wireless providers and sold off oodles of wireless spectrum to Verizon for a couple billion dollars.
Part of that deal included a marketing and development partnership that was supposed to get Verizon phones in the hands of Comcast customers while also working together on new technology. Some worried that such an arrangement would lead to Verizon slowing down its expansion of its Comcast-competing FiOS network.
In terms of product development, not much came out of the Comcast/Verizon arrangement; the Inquirer reports the sole fruit born from this pairing was a bit of tech that involved streaming video to TVs.
The companies say they will continue to market each other’s products, which does little to quell concerns that Verizon is prioritizing wireless sales over building out the FiOS network.