Joho the Blog » The Privacy of Fridges: The Broadband Strategy plan meets the Smart Grid

The Privacy of Fridges: The Broadband Strategy plan meets the Smart Grid

Nick Sinai is Dir. of Energy and Environment for the FCC’s Broadband Strategy plan. In the latest posting at Broadband Strategy Week, he talks about how the requirements of the Smart Grid will affect the plan. How smart will the grid be? Will the FCC be regulating our refrigerators? Are there privacy concerns? How much bandwidth is required to support it? Who will build it? Will the Smart Grid be based on Internet protocols to ensure interoperability? Will it use the broadband infrastructure or the existing information infrastructure created by the electric companies? Should the energy industry be disrupted (in the good sense)?

6 Responses to “The Privacy of Fridges: The Broadband Strategy plan meets the Smart Grid”

  1. The Internet continues to get lost in the rhetoric. If we follow the end-to-end argument we should have smart homes or buildings, not a smart grid. Too much of the big guys doing, at some expense, what we could do for ourselves. Maybe all of this is a declaration that the people can’t or won’t do what is needed.

  2. Well, it’s called the “smart grid” because it lets us be smarter about how we manage electricity, but the hope of many of us is that that the network that lets the grid get smart will itself be “dumb” (in the end-to-end, neutral sense). I don’t see any conflict there except in the use of the term “smart.” Unless I’m missing something.

  3. At the risk of blatent self-promotion on the domestic side;
    http://engagingenergy.com/2009/11/20/smart-sassy-and-just-a-bit-too-forward-electricity-and-water-meters/

    ‘Smart’ was originally used to denote self-healing and self-regulating to reduce internal losses and blackouts/brownouts, so originally nothing to do with fridges.
    This was extended into the home automation field and most recently as some kind of appliance take-over bid. Re the fridges; there are some compelling efficiency gains in doing this kind of distributed energy storage, but allowing remote control of individual’s property has some other significant issues in privacy and loss of personal control.

  4. Joho the Blog » The Privacy of Fridges: The Broadband Strategy plan meets the Smart Grid…

    Joho the Blog » The Privacy of Fridges: The Broadband Strategy plan meets the Smart Grid…

  5. The spin about government coming in to change our lightbulbs and have criminals caulk our windows has been distressingly off-point. From the customer’s perspective, it’s about getting feedback from our energy systems without having to engineer the systems ourselves. And from the utility’s perspective, there are enormous efficiencies in swapping out power sources nimbly and eliminating “spinning reserve” which is running extra (and more expensive) generation for peak demand.

  6. Brian, I hope that the interview makes clear the same point you’re making.

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