Great Southern Utilities
Mobile phone network
|Headquarters||Zuid-Richel, South Sea Islands|
South Sea Islands|
Great Southern Utilities is an incorporated company and the main provider of electricity, natural gas, water, mobile and fixed television services, internet and satellite navigation services in the South Sea Islands.
Formed in 1697 as a conglomerate of smaller utility services provides, GSU provides services to the whole territory of the South Sea Islands, for both civil and military purposes. Under contract from the Government of the South Sea Islands, GSU provides radio, surveillance and guidance systems for the South Sea Islands Defence Force.
In addition to distributing electricity, GSU also owns and operates a number of power generation facilities.
- Geothermal: Trinity Island, the southernmost of the two main islands of the South Sea Islands, sits atop an area of significant geothermal activity. This potential is utilised by the Joseph Town Geothermal Power Station, which sits around 10km south east of the city itself. As the single largest power generation facility in the nation, Joseph Town provides power to the majority of the homes and businesses on Trinity Island.
- Wind: Making the most of the abundant wind in the coastal and upland areas of the South Sea Islands, GWS operates a number of small onshore wind farms. Additionally, the company also leases small turbines to residential and commercial properties, allowing them to generate their own electricity. This is particularly useful for small hamlets and standalone farmsteads in rural areas.
- Solar: while solar power accounts for a small proportion of the total energy used on the islands, the majority of properties employ rooftop solar panels for electricity generation and (to a less extent) water heating. GWS leases out panels for both residential and commercial properties.
While GWS does not extract natural gas, it does a major role in its distribution. Gas supplies are provided by offshore rigs operated by the Government of the South Sea Islands as well as imports of liquefied natural gas from suppliers abroad. Many homes in the South Sea Islands have gas stoves for cooking, while central heating systems are usually a combination of electric, ground source heat pumps and wood burners.
While urban areas are provided with gas via a network of pipes, rural properties can subscribe to have bottled gas delivered at home.
Drinking water is provided to properties in the islands, with a combination of melt water and desalinated water providing the majority of the supply. All cities, towns and villages with a permanent population exceeding 20 receive their water from a national grid of pipes, while smaller settlements and standalone homes are provided for by local water towers that are regularly replenished by tanker lorries.
During periods of severe weather, when deliveries are interrupted, it is not unusual for rural properties to melt snow or ice to provide for themselves.
Fixed internet is available throughout the South Sea Islands, as part of an economic program championed by the government. The fibre optic network, operated and maintained by GWS, is designed to allow remote working and economic development outside of the main cities of Joseph Town and Zuid-Richel.
While usage of fixed telephone lines has been declining on the islands for over a decade, all properties have the option of operating one via the system of internet cables.
For safety and convenience, the Government of the South Sea Islands sponsored the creation of a comprehensive 5G network covering the whole terrestrial territory of the islands. While the network is operated by GWS, the infrastructure remains the property of the government, and profits from the network are split evenly between the owner and the operator.
While the South Sea Islands Defence Force and others currently rely on ageing infrastructure dating from the era of Britannic Empire, GWS aspires to create a system of modern surveillance and communication satellites, with the sponsorship of the Government of the South Sea Islands. GWS is currently investigating the feasibility of manufacturing their own satellites and launch systems, with the aim of completing their first test launch by late 1699.