Broadband saves consumers on utilities

Smart Grid is increasingly needing broadband, and the Recovery Act is helping fund 1000 censors across the transmition grid to help prevent blackouts, Nick Sinai, the Senior Advisor to White House’s Chief Technology Officer, said.

Sinai spoke at November’s Broadband Breakfast Tuesday morning on broadband and the smart grid:

He added that, “all advanced meters and endpoints in homes are now being backhauled by broadband circuits.”

In addressing the broadband standards and technologies that are used with new smart grid developments, Sinai stressed, “There are opportunities to use commercial networks, opportunities to use public safety networks and opportunities to use private networks…all three happen today, all three will continue to happen in future, it is therefore important to use private sector developed standards so we don’t strain investment in any of those three options.”

Sinai focused on what the Obama administration is doing to support, secure and modernize the energy system for the country.  He noted that although the current grid has expanded, it is fundamentally still an analog grid and has been that way since the beginning of the 20th century.

“The administration invested $4.5 billion in Recovery Act across 140 projects in 46 states to build a more stable secure electric grid that increases access to renewable energy and helps offer opportunity for consumers to cut their utility bills,” said Sinai.

The administration released a policy framework for the 21st century grid, laying out the roadmap for state regulators, industry and all Americans to benefit from infrastructure investments. Rural Utilities Service loans allocated funds for 150 million in smart grid investment, as part of their commitment to infrastructure investment in rural areas.

Broadband and smart grid technology can put more information in the consumers' hands. Utilities can make energy data available for consumers through energy efficiency apps or broadband thermostats, leading to more efficient energy consumption.

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Tags: broadband, energy, environment, RUS, smart grid, utilities

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