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This paper addresses the various requirements forming the basis for investing in a utility wide-area network (WAN). One single requirement cannot itself motivate the total cost of a WAN, whereas the requirements altogether could do that. The paper is based on experiences from Svenska Kraftnät (Swedish National Grid). The presentation aims to be comprehensive, and it should provide support when a utility WAN is to be planned. The contribution of the paper is to provide engineering perspectives on the requirements, rather than a pure theoretical view.