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The Electric Power Research Institute and the U. S. Department of Energy have completed a jointly sponsored program to develop and test communication systems for distribution automation and load management. The program included three power- line-carrier projects, an ultra-high- frequency radio project, and a, telephone project. For each project, a two-way (half-duplex) digital communication system was developed to perform such functions as fault location and isolation, distribution feeder switching, load control, time-of-day metering, remote meter reading, and equipment monitoring. The results of this research indicate that communication systems in all three technologies (power line carrier, radio, and telephone) have advanced closer to satisfying utility requirements for, distribution automation and load control. Research will continue to determine whether these technoiogies will be cost-effective.