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Today's electric grid employs a variety of different monitoring and control applications, many of which use different forms of communications. Utilities also operate a number of enterprise applications on their corporate networks. The advent of the Smart Grid affords an opportunity to create an integrated communications infrastructure capable of supporting these and other applications in a secure, efficient, and cost-effective way. The US Department of Energy asserts that just such an integrated communications infrastructure is absolutely essential to deploying the Smart Grid.
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