This paper proposes a network system architecture that integrates the operation of two communications technologies of the smart grid, i.e., fiber optics and broadband over power lines, across the same overhead transmission and distribution power grid. This integration brings benefits for the power utilities, telecommunications providers and customers alike. The proposed system architecture is expandable by allowing more communications technologies of the smart grid, such as DSL, fiber, WPAN, WiFi, WiMAX, GSM (4G, 5G) and satellite, to connect. Issues concerning wireless sensor networks, tower-sharing and terabit-class backbone networks are discussed.
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