In the utility world there has been a great deal of conversation over the “smart grid,” which sometimes fuses networked home appliances with electric grid infrastructure.  In short, this will offer new energy efficiency opportunities which will mean big savings for both ratepayers and utilities.  However, this new technology is largely reliant on high speed internet, which many rural communities have little or no access to.
http://midwestenergynews.com/2016/11/04/in-illinois-rural-co-ops-see-energy-advantage-with-broadband/

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