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Utilities are considering the adoption of guidelines for the evolution of the electric grid in the near future, better known as Smart Grid. An important approach to this evolution is the improvement of energy meter management and the implantation of demand response and demand control programs supported by an advanced metering infrastructure. This paper describes the considerations to establish a favorable environment to develop the first step toward Smart Grid, taking like a starting point the deployment of an advanced metering infrastructure system in a major Utility in the south west of Colombia. The design of the communications architecture using Wireless Local Area Networks and ZigBee is presented, along with the performance evaluation of the network model.