Greater deployment and adoption of broadband technology can help accelerate the growth of smart-grid technologies designed to enhance the efficient use of U.S. energy resources, participants at an FCC field hearing said Monday.

"Smart grid and broadband are first cousins," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said during the hearing hosted by the Massachusetts Institute for Technology.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) echoed this sentiment, comparing the potential impact that the smart grid could have on the U.S. energy market to the effect that the Internet has had on the nation's communications sector.

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