FCC adds smart grid, teleworking to broadband shopping list

As the FCC works to draft its national broadband plan for the U.S. Congress, the agency wants to know how broadband can be leveraged for smart grid and teleworking. The FCC wants to know what the bandwidth requirements are and how home networks will communicate with the energy grid and mobility for teleworking. In addition, the FCC's teleworking notice will outline how government employees could work from home in the event of a major disaster or disease outbreak.

The telecom industry and other government agencies already have been responding to the call for teleworking and smart grid technology. To be prepared for a potential swine flu outbreak, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) laid out a teleworking plan in April for government employees. Meanwhile, wireless and wireline service providers have developed offerings dedicated to utilities.

Two service providers making waves in smart grid are AT&T and Qwest. AT&T has struck partnerships with both SmartSynch and Cooper Power Systems, while Qwest is working with powerline vendor Current Communications to provide its DSL service to backhaul smart-grid data for Xcel Energy in Boulder, Colo.  

For more:
- Multichannel News has this article

Related articles
FCC gets serious about smart grids
Qwest DSL backs up smart-grid trend
AT&T partners with Cooper on smart grids
Swine flu: Time to telework?