A consortium of hydro companies in Canada is offering customers a high-tech package of communication and billing services.

The services include automatic meter reading; home security; local, long distance and cellular phone calls; high speed Internet access and unified billing.

Symphony Telecom has signed a five-year contract with CallManage to provide the package to households in Ontario and Quebec. ‘Electric companies are changing their focus, expanding their field of vision to include telemetering and telecommunications services,’ said Joseph Cline, CEO of CallManage. ‘With the right technology and the right partners they can tap a multi-million dollar opportunity, while improving customer service levels.’

Gilles Trahan, chairman and CEO of Symphony Telecom, said the contract would provide the company with a platform for similar agreements with other electricity companies in Canada and the US.