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Booz Allen Hamilton Response to Department of Energy Request for Information on Implementing the National Broadband Plan by Studying the Communications Requirements of Electric Utilities to Inform the Federal Smart Grid Policy

Booz Allen Hamilton (Booz Allen) has had an enduring relationship with the Department of Energy (DOE) for more than two decades. We are pleased to be responding to the DOE’s Request for Information (RFI), Implementing the National Broadband Plan by Studying the Communcations Requirements of Electric Utilities to Inform Federal Smart Grid Policy, with our perspectives on the use of broadband communications technology to meet emerging Smart Grid requirements. In its RFI, the DOE acknowledges the multiple interdependencies, diverse topics, and challenges in addressing the nine questions posed on Smart Grid and utility industry communications network requirements.
Booz Allen is aware of the central role that well-defined and executed industry communications networks requirements management can play in supporting and sustaining successful industry transformative mandates such as that facing the utility industry in Smart Grid. Since we are certain that the DOE will receive no shortage of quality inputs to its specific inquiry areas from a diverse set of industry stakeholders, we wanted to offer a response which provides an independent perspective structured around critical issues and a framework of supporting observations. We have attempted to evaluate these issues with an eye to the DOE’s role with respect to the National Broadband Plan and its role as a catalyst in advancing Smart Grid technology. As such, our response does not directly answer each of the individual RFI questions, but instead offers recommendations which the DOE may wish to consider to ensure success in its Smart Grid communications network requirement work streams including recommendations for risk mitigation.