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Implementing the National Broadband Plan by Empowering Consumers and the Smart Grid: Data Access, Third Party Use, and Privacy

The United States Telecom Association (USTelecom)1 is pleased to comment on the Request for Information (RFI) of the Department of Energy (DOE) in its proceeding requesting input from the public regarding current and potential practices and policies to empower consumers through access to detailed energy information in electronic form. USTelecom strongly supports DOE’s efforts to ensure widespread adoption, use and innovation in the Smart Grid technologies and services marketplace. A central tenet for achieving this outcome is to ensure, as DOE stated, that Smart Grid technology “adequately respects consumers’ reasonable—and often widely differing—expectations of privacy.”3 Consumers will more readily accept and adopt Smart Grid technology if they have assurances that their privacy is being protected and that they understand and can exercise a reasonable degree of control over the use of the personal data that is collected.