Federal Communications Commission

Seeking Public Comment on the Smart Grid

September 8th, 2009 by Nick Sinai - Energy and Environment Director

The word "Smart" is getting used a lot today. Smart Phones, Smart Homes, Smart Building, Smart Cars, and - especially - Smart Grid. Behind many of these "smart" innovations is the addition of advanced communications capabilities to devices, equipment and infrastructure that previously couldn't communicate. That's why the Energy and Environment team on the Omnibus Broadband Initiative is asking for public comment on the Smart Grid.


The Energy and Environment team is charged with developing a plan to advance national goals to promote energy independence, increase efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The Smart Grid has the potential to help achieve these goals and more.


Just as broadband Internet enabled new and unexpected ways to communicate, work, and use data, adding advanced communications infrastructure to the electricity grid can change the way America generates, delivers, and consumes electricity.


Communications is just one part of the movement towards a smarter grid, but it's a key enabler of many Smart Grid applications. We have already observed a wide variety of communications networks and technologies being employed for many different Smart Grid applications. In releasing a Public Notice seeking public comment on Smart Grid communications, we hope to learn more about the communications networks being used in the Smart Grid:

  • What networks are suitable for which types of applications?
  • How available are these networks?
  • What could be done to make networks more suitable or more available?
  • How can the data generated by the grid be secured? How can it be used to drive efficiency and innovation?

We're looking for data, analysis and perspectives from participants across the entire Smart Grid ecosystem. We want to know what works and what doesn't, and we want the data to back it up. The data we gather through this process will be an important part of the analysis our team is undertaking. The deadline for responses is October 2, but we're hopeful that many will begin submitting facts and findings to the record right away. We'll be presenting some preliminary findings at the Commission meeting on September 29.


This is an exciting time to be working on the Smart Grid. Our team is intently focused on identifying the best ways to support and accelerate these developments. These ideas will be an important part of the National Broadband Plan.


**Please read the Public Noticeand file comments using either ECFS Express or our standard submission page if you need to attach a file.  Please note that your comments are responding to Public Notice #2.

2 Responses to “Seeking Public Comment on the Smart Grid”

  1. Sujay says:

    Great blog! Fascinating stuff.

  2. Guest says:

    Putting "smart" in front of everything doesn't mean it is making it better. If the economics of implementing a "smart grid" technology were overwelmingly positive then every utility would be doing it to reduce cost and increase profits. The economic reality is that it will be a very expensive feature to what is already an over-taxed system. With over 3/4 of the energy is lost transmitting power from the producer to the consumer it would tend to make sence to address the production side of this problem in putting in more plants closer to the population centers. Becuase of all the red tap and bueracracy around the whole industry it is not able to move like other free market enterprises to serve its customers. We need "Smart Goverment" before we need tinker with spying on everyones consumption.

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