Vermont's utilities, telcos establish smart grid partnership

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has proposed an ambitious pact with the state's utilities and telcos to establish a broadband-enabled smart grid for the state.

Shulmin is confident that the new pact between two utilities (Green Mountain Power, Central Vermont Public Service Corp.) and one telco (Vermont Telephone Company) will not only help consumers get better handle on their energy consumption but also expand broadband access and create new jobs.

In addition to enabling electric usage trends to be carried over a new broadband network serving Vermont, the new network will enable VTel to extend broadband services to about 20-25 percent more people than it initially thought.

"What we are celebrating today is the operating agreement that supports the marriage of smart grid and our telecommunications infrastructure. Smart grid is a national and Vermont priority," Shumlin said.

However, not everyone in Vermont is completely convinced yet.

Philene Taormina, director of advocacy at AARP-Vermont, for one, believes that the Vermont Public Service Board needs to ensure that electric customers don't have to foot the bill for the broadband network.  

For more:
- Business Week has this article

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