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Southern Telecom – an affiliate of electric utility firm Southern Company (SO - Analyst Report) – declared that it has finished the installation of Northern Fiber Optic Ring at Georgia State University (GSU). Georgia State University is a leading urban research university based in Atlanta, Georgia.  

The newly installed Northern Fiber Optic Ring will connect to the existing Southern Fiber Optic Ring of the university. As a result 13 additional buildings in the university campus will be connected to the fiber optic network of the university.

Southern Telecom has been providing support to GSU for many years and has created the Southern Fiber Optic Ring of the university some years back. But due to the significant growth of student population, university management built some new buildings in the campus. To support this student density and faculty needs, Georgia State University has entered into a deal with Southern Telecom to expand its fiber optic network.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Southern Company is one of the largest generators of electricity in the nation, along with the likes of Exelon Corporation (EXC - Analyst Report) and Duke Energy Corporation (DUK - Analyst Report). The company serves both regulated and competitive markets across the Southeastern U.S. The company also engages in the construction, acquisition, and management of generation assets, provision of digital wireless communications services, and the provision of fiber optic solutions to telecommunication providers.

Southern Company’s heavy reliance on coal-generated energy supply and a lack of meaningful contribution from renewable energy is a matter of concern. In the current age of growing emphasis on ‘environment friendly or green’ energy, the company may be forced to divert cash flows to ensure regulatory compliance, which can adversely impact profitability.

Southern Company currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), implying that it is expected to underperform the broader U.S. equity market over the next one-to-three months.

In the electric utility space Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP (BIP - Snapshot Report) displays better fundamentals and currently holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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