FCC advisor: National Broadband Plan would boost smart energy

If you think the FCC's national broadband plan is only about getting higher Internet speeds to more remote areas of the country--or in the minds of some detractors, encouraging government interference in a capitalist economy--you'd be only half right, according to comments delivered by an FCC advisor to the SmartGridComm international conference on smart grid communications.

The NBP, as it's known in some quarters, is about "integrating broadband into the smart grid and unleashing private capital in the cause of energy innovation," Phoebe Yan, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's senior advisor on broadband told the conference. "Utilities will need broadband, not just narrowband solutions ... so our plan took a multi-pronged approach to ensuring a broadband-enabled smart grid."

Among the uses for this smartgrid that Yan cited was Chattanooga, Tenn., which is building a smart grid FTTH network that will include retail broadband so "Chattanooga citizens can get up to 1 gig service directly to their house or business."

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