Photo credit armandoalves
I saw a report on the Green Data Center Blog today that a new industry group called GreenTouch has been formed with the express aim of reducing the amount of energy communications networks (including the Internet) use.
In fact their Global Mission is to, by 2015:
deliver the architecture, specifications and roadmap — and demonstrate key components — needed to reduce energy consumption per user by a factor of 1000 from current levels.
This is an incredibly ambitious aim and one that you might be inclined to dismiss if it were not for the fact that its members include from industry Bell Labs, AT&T, and China Mobile; MIT and Stanford University from the academic world; and The French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control from government – the full list from the GreenTouch members page is:
- Bell Labs
- China Mobile
- CEA-LETI Applied Research Institute for Microelectronics
- Freescale Semiconductor
- Foundation for Mobile Communications
- The French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA)
- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Research Laboratory for Electronics (RLE)
- Portugal Telecom
- Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT)
- Stanford University’s Wireless Systems Lab (WSL)
- University of Melbourne’s Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES)
With the use of the Internet and mobile phone networks merging and growing daily with people uploading photos and video from their mobile phones to the Internet for example, this is a very timely development. From the network provider’s perspective, the ability to drastically reduce the costs associated with running these networks has to be compelling.
Similarly, for large organisations who run significant internal and external communications networks, any opportunity to tackle communications overheads and their energy-related emissions will be welcomed. In an era when the air-travel experience is becoming increasingly onerous due to increased security restrictions, the potential to shrink the price of alternatives such as telepresence solutions, will also be a boon.
Also, the utility companies, with their need to significantly invest in communication networks in the next few years as they roll out their smart grids, must be looking at this announcement with a lot of interest.
I’m curious to see where Cisco (and Juniper) are in all this!
Gee Rittenhouse, the head of Research for Bell Labs explains more about GreenTouch in the video below:
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- Alcatel kicks off green networks R&D group (infoworld.com)
- Can the World’s Telecoms Slash Their Energy Consumption 1,000-Fold? (scientificamerican.com)
- New Green Touch Consortium Wants to Make Mobile Networks 1000x More Efficient (treehugger.com)