Our utility grid’s communication protocol functions like the post office but will function more like the Internet in the near future.
The utility grid communication protocol currently functions the way the US Post Office delivers mail. Like the central post office, a few central power plants distributing electricity door to door. If I were to mail a letter to my neighbor using the US mail system, the letter would travel a long distance just to get to my neighbor’s house. First it would go in my mailbox waiting to get picked up, then it would get delivered to the central post office, and eventually get delivered back to my street in my neighbor’s mailbox. This is similar to how our current utility grid communicates, even though the electrons flow to the shortest path.