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Propelled by the need to reduce the impact on the environment and improve energy efficiency, we see an impetus toward enabling a smart grid. One of the key constituents of the smart grid is the automated metering infrastructure, which is expected to facilitate the transport of meter readings from meters to the utility provider, and (potentially) control information in the other direction. A range of communication technologies are being considered for realizing AMI networks with no clear winner so far. This article provides an overview of some of the candidate solutions and proposes a mesh-radio based solution. The proposed solution is an enhanced version of the RPL protocol and exhibits self-organizing characteristics, and is practical and therefore attractive from a deployment perspective. Additionally, we also discuss network operational issues to improve robustness and scalability, as well as fault recovery due to link failure.