Fiber put in place for smart grid applications is making possible Gigabyte speed broadband, according to NYT. The high-speed Internet service is piggybacked on top of the utility’s smart-grid network, which was the reason for stringing the fiber optic cable to homes in the first place. Smart grids are advanced electrical networks that can improve energy efficiency, enable variable pricing based on the time of day, and reduce disruptions. They require digital networks for two-way communications, and computerized meters in homes. EPB had already begun a smart-grid program before the Obama administration included billions for grants for smart-grid projects in the economic stimulus program in 2009.