Itron, Inc., in partnership with Cisco, has brought to market their combined next-generation smart grid platform, delivering on the companies’ vision to create a secure, scalable and multi-service IPv6-based communications architecture. The platform enables pervasive monitoring and control of energy distribution networks to achieve a broad array of smart grid objectives for both utilities and consumers. Key components of the integrated solution include the Cisco 1000 Series Connected Grid Router (CGR), Cisco Network Management System (NMS), OpenWay Reporting System, Itron IPv6-enabled meters, and the OpenWay Collection Engine. Since announcing their strategic alliance in September 2010, Itron and Cisco have collaborated closely to deliver an open, interoperable communications architecture to support grid modernization. This transformative platform is based on open industry standards and provides native IPv6 networking services from Cisco to enable multi-application support and simplify the path to smart grid device interoperability. Utilities can now deploy a foundational communications architecture to enable "plug and play" interoperability of smart grid applications and devices, as well as freedom from vendor-specific, proprietary integration requirements. First to deploy the IPv6 smart grid architecture is BC Hydro as a key element of its smart metering program. BC Hydro serves over 1.8 million customers throughout British Columbia, Canada. Installation of the new IPv6 communication infrastructure will begin in March 2012, providing BC Hydro with enterprise-class network management, security and quality-of-service (QoS) through all layers of their system. The ability to “plug and play” smart grid applications and devices will give the utility a future-proof, flexible solution. The new Cisco Connected Grid Router will be deployed in the field to provide a secure communications path to route critical data from Itron’s IPv6-enabled smart meters and other grid-enabled devices over an IPv6 RF mesh network.