President Barak Obama, just days ago, announced $3.4 billion in grants to update the nation’s electrical grid aimed at creating a more efficient and reliable electric system in the U.S. However, the backbone of the smart grid, which uses digital technology to deliver electricity and control use, will be an Internet Protocol-based network, and the result could mean new broadband deployment in some areas as well as growing security concerns.

Security Magazine in print reports that there are two ways to view smart grid vulnerabilities: terrorists could attack the grid electronically and criminals, including neighbors, could attack and takeover home electric meters to divert service.

Money for the smart grid deployments comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including $11 billion for smart grid projects, and also included $7.2 billion for broadband deployment to unserved areas. The smart grid will include a smart-meter monitoring device paired with electricity meters at buildings. That device will collect data on energy use, as well as control many of the electrical appliances in the building. Those devices in residential and nonresidential facilities will need to connect back to the electric utility through an IP network.

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