An appropriate infrastructure, or generally an appropriate solution does exactly what is needed - not more, not less. The present article systematically reflects the parameters with impact on the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure design. Considering cost and vulnerability of ICT infrastructures, we propose to reconsider the structural parameters of any smart grid system according to the guideline 'as local as possible and as central as needed'. The presented comprehensive methodology departs from the primary requirements of distribution system operation. ICT infrastructure must be able to support these primary requirements. Additional services rendered possible by more complex ICT must have a justifiable cost-benefit ratio. Regulatory barriers hampering efficient ICT solutions are identified and improvement suggestions integrated into the design process. Application of the methodology is illustrated with the example of a German rural distribution system as a case study
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