Cable networks will be a critical element of the Smart Grid, and the initial specifications for cable participation in the envisioned Smart Grid of the future have been accepted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

NIST’s draft report on Smart Grid technology said the organization has identified nearly 80 standards that can be used right now to support Smart Grid development.

Among them are CableLabs’ PacketCable specifications for home security, energy management and home automation (SMA). The CableLabs document referenced by NIST is available here.

SMA Reference Chart

Also mentioned by NIST are Zigbee, HomePlug, GPS and the IEEE 802 family (Wi-Fi and WiMAX) of standards.

“SMA is an advanced, IP-based architecture that can provide a standard platform for consumer Smart Grid energy management today. It represents the contributions of many next-generation home technology developers and is based on widely accepted Internet standards,” said Tony Werner, Comcast’s executive vice president and chief technology officer.

The SMA specification was included in the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Release 1.0 as one of 31 standards that were found to have “strong stakeholder consensus.”

“We greatly appreciate NIST including our work on behalf of cable operators and suppliers in this Smart Grid program,” said Paul Liao, CableLabs’ president and CEO. “This lays the groundwork for broadband providers to deliver an array of services to help consumers manage their lifestyles and their energy needs,” he added.

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