A Second Opinion on Network Architecture Why a "closed" system is actually "open"

Fortnightly Magazine - February 1 1998
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METERING issues can be confusing, especially as they relate to

new technologies and electric deregulation. However, only three guiding principles are needed to protect consumers and to ensure fair competition.

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First, consumers need accuracy, safety and reliability. These are ensured through adherence to ANSI C12 standards.

Second, they need public, or "open," access to both meters and communications (with passwords to protect privacy). The residential or commercial consumer and their chosen energy supplier must be able to read whatever meter is on that consumer's house or business. If that meter is read remotely via a communications network, the consumer needs open access to that network.

Third, consumers need low cost. Open access is only viable if it is economical. To illustrate, consumers have low-cost, open access to telephone network devices (both wired and wireless), because any equipment manufacturer can obtain the interface protocol at no or low cost.

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