Smart grid technology places greater demands for reliability on communications infrastructure. This work focuses on identifying requirements for distribution feeder level communications. Due to the large number of distribution components connected to the distribution level feeders, a massively deployed wireless communication network is identified as the potential technology for this application. This network would allow prioritized communication: high priority for abnormal events and system control operations, and low priority communication for asset management tasks. A three-layer wireless communication architecture is proposed in this work to increase the reliability and reduce the latency of event notification. Fault location is considered as an example application to illustrate the proposed architecture.