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Maine EBT Standards Document

VI. Electronic Transmission Standard Approach:

The ME-EBT Working Group has reviewed the standards, technologies and services available for defining transaction sets and transport mechanisms.  We have also considered developments taking place in the rapidly emerging, restructured electricity markets in neighboring New England states and other regions of the country.

The position of the Working Group is:

Implement EDI in Maine using VANs.

Participate in national standard setting for our industry

Continue to monitor Internet progress.

Find opportunities to model and experiment with Internet transport solutions where appropriate, in non deregulation applications.

Move to using the Internet when open solutions and national standards are ready.

Let Consumer Owned Utilities investigate low cost/shared solutions.

There is general agreement among the participants that transaction formats should be standardized so that all parties can develop the business processes and automated systems needed to facilitate the required set of electronic business transactions.  It is less certain that a single means of transferring the data should be mandated for use by all parties.  Successful implementation of both Value Added Network (VAN) and limited Internet file transfer systems are presently in use in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  In addition, other methods, such as dedicated, leased phone line connections, dial-up phone connections, and other computer-to-computer file transfer mechanisms are available, and could be practical and economical transfer mechanisms for certain scenarios.

The ME-EBT Working Group reviewed the technologies and services available for packaging standardized transaction formats for transmission over public and private networks.  A unanimous decision was made to use the electronic commerce industry’s Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) implementation and the UIG standards.  Future changes to UIG standards will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis as provided for in Section X.

The EDI format will use existing ANSI  ASC X.12 transactions which are tailored for use in the exchange of information between T&Ds and CESs.  The group has “mapped” the fields we have defined in Appendix A and B of this report to the existing segments of the EDI transaction sets as defined in the implementation guide, appendix C.

The ME-EBT Working Group adopted a Value Added Network  (VAN) as the default transport medium for the market.  VANs are a reliable and proven technology, and they include the services in the key areas identified above.  However, other methods may be permitted if there is a service agreement between market participants to implement and support such methods, and provided they address requirements in the following key areas:

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