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NBP RFI: Communications Requirements- Reply Comments of AT&T Inc.

AT&T Inc., on behalf of itself and its affiliates (“AT&T”), respectfully submits these reply comments in response to the Department Of Energy‟s Request for Information (“RFI”) on the communications requirements of electric utilities in Smart Grid deployments.1 In its initial comments, AT&T highlighted the expanding demand for network connectivity and how utilities can benefit from leveraging new network technologies deployed by commercial communications operators to optimize the performance, scalability, security, reliability and cost effectiveness of their Smart Grid applications deployments. Commercial communications providers possess the technological and human resources to help utilities meet these complex and critical needs. Moreover, by employing commercial service for many of the Smart Grid applications, utilities can concentrate on assuring the reliable delivery of electricity to consumers, optimizing energy utilization within the existing electrical grid, and implementing new information technologies that will allow utilities to enhance billing, customer relationships, demand response and energy management systems. At the same time, the utilities will be reducing their exposure to technological obsolescence in an environment of rapidly changing technology and yet-to-be- defined applications requirements. AT&T recommended that policy makers, including the DOE, encourage the serious consideration of commercial services for Smart Grid applications.