Cisco Blogs

Smart Grid & Spectrum – Setting the Record Straight

February 5, 2010 - 4 Comments

One of the key policy debates now ongoing in Washington DC is whether to set aside spectrum for use in the smart grid – spectrum that the utilities could themselves use for their own deployments. 

In a recent filing at the FCC, Cisco provided its thoughts on how the FCC might evaluate policies to promote and accelerate the use of smart grid technologies across the country.  As it turns out,  a portion of our filing was misrepresented in a blog and elsewhere on the internet, stating that we do not support additional spectrum allocations for utilities. In fact, we believe this is a critical issue at the FCC that goes beyond the boundaries of technology and should be evaluated based on business models and the need to accelerate smart grid deployments. 

In our filing, we shared our technical knowledge and our vision for smart grid, making it clear that the decision about whether to award spectrum need not be driven by technology, but rather a framework to assess business models.  Cisco has not taken a position on which models the FCC should prefer in determining whether additional spectrum is warranted. However, we would emphasize – as we did in our filing that “one size does not fit all.”  When it comes to the types of networks that are necessary to build a robust, secure, reliable smart grid – diversity and redundancy are essential.

We hope the FCC will resolve the question by evaluating the business models and use cases made by the utilities.  The utilities have been well-represented in this proceeding, and have made a strong case to the FCC.  Cisco is looking forward to the FCC’s upcoming recommendation expected in March.  We are optimistic that their plan will be both a comprehensive and forward-looking blueprint for the future of smart grid.

For more information, please read our filing at

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  1. Very interesting components to discuss.Great point and prospective.

  2. I think with smart grid everything is going in the direction most companies need to be going. Thanks for posting this, it was a great read.

  3. Really interesting article, thank for sharing.

  4. nice information, I have tweeted this