The point being that it would take a whole raft of added infrastructure to provide any real time fine grained control of load and they already have that at substations, so that reason is a bit of a red herring.
But if consumers have to have the option of changing their behaviour in response to price peaks then the tariff changes have to reach the individual consumers, not just their nearest substation. In any case substations local to here have no control other than if someone turns up to change something manually.
,,,but how many consumers would actually keep track? A very good question. Very few, I suspect, unless all other domestic priorities are sidelined in favour of meter - watching.
That faces the same problem in bandwidth terms, especially if the tariff changes are required to reflect real time grid loading. Without that what's the point?
gsm modem hardware is dirt cheap these days True, but I don't think GSM functionality will allow "simultaneous broadcast" to multiple recipients. TETRA does.
My bet long term would be internet connected, which is more reliable and could be done for about the same cost of hardware. I would agree but for several factors. How is the internet going to interface with smart meters? Am I (or anyone else) going to be expected to provide free access to my internet connection for use by my energy supplier? FWIW my WiFi is deliberately turned off, and I use an ethernet connection. If they want access to my internet connection they can bloody well make it worth my while. Futhermore several premises in this road (and it can hardly be unique) do not have an internet connection of any sort by virtue of the age - related choice of the residents, and what impact is "smart metering by internet" going to have on overall traffic levels and contention? I do not want the service I get being degraded by heavy loading of metering data unless I am somehow recompensed for that degradation. It's my internet connection, and I pay for it. If my energy supplier wants to piggy - back then they can pay me - handsomely.
Also note an earlier comment of mine; Arqiva submitted several planning applications locally for radio sites for "smart metering", although I don't know what radio technology is planned. That would point to it not being internet based.
It's clear that smart meters are of no benefit to the consumer at all cannot be anything but completely true. In an earlier posting Ledswinger (IIRC) stated that the smart meters have the capability of having an auxiliary switched output that can be controlled by the supplier. I can't speak for anyone else but I'm not going to rush to have duplicate ring - mains installed so that selected items can be switched off by someone else. The cost of that would be unrecoverable from any likely saving.