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Excellent post, but remember that internet providers like Comcast are taking steps to do that same thing. Nest has the hooks into the power system, but Comcast controls the gateway to the larger internet and interfacing with things like your smartphone.

How this sill interact with the ZigBee push for IPV6 integration, for the Smart Energy profile at least, is anyone's guess.

In the UK the implementation currently being rolled out actually runs the smart meter on the 2G GSM network, as a ZED (zigbee end device) the nest could actually pipe data directly to the energy companies with no other connectivity beyond the electrical grid. The company running the 2g network (vodaphone) in this case, is actually in contract directly with the energy provider. Now in terms of interfacing with your smart phone this is impractical, you still need wifi (most likely), however, considering the traffic is encrypted, I doubt that the providers really have much leverage here.

Well, yes and no. It's a lot easier to tackle the profile interoperabilty issues if you're the gateway between the ZigBee and non-ZigBee network. The energy providers don't quite have the same experience at being "user friendly" at a customer level.

Not that the company I work for really cares either way. Power companies are looking at smart grids, white good manufacturers are looking to include network functionality, and several people want to be the bridge between you and all of this. But as long as most people building ZigBee devices use our chips, we're happy.

Comcast controls one gateway into a home's internet - there are others - including wireless 3G. In fact this hn article detailed how a woman was charged for hack said gsm card tied to her smart power meter [1]

[1] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2509967

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