Because of the role communications technologies will play in the evolution toward a smarter national grid, DOE recommended in its October 2010 report, The Communications Requirements of Smart Grid Technologies, that members of the utility sector become more engaged in the federal advisory committees that consider key policy issues related to the Smart Grid, including the reliability of communications networks.  Last week, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it is seeking nominations for its Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC).  The CSRIC allows various parties to provide the FCC with important input on communications best practices and policies.  Nominations are due by April 22, 2011.  More specifics on member qualifications and the nominations process can be found here.  DOE encourages the utility sector to submit nominations.