F2C: Carbon Negtive Internet

Kathy Brown – Verizon
Been trying to find tools to conserve energy and become energy efficient since the 80s. Need to think about how we bring down our energy uses, become more efficient, and yet the use of high speed iTC isn’t part of the discussion. Proposition is that we are not going to reach the efficiencies we want to reach without high speed broadband networks.

In the 90s we talked about the productivity gains we could make through the internet, and those gains were achieved with respect to manufacturing, inventory, and many other things. This technology, the internet, and what was attached to it at the edges has caused us to rethink the way we do things. The growth of broadband is something we need to pay attention to. The kind of penetration, of 53.5 m broadband lines, 49m connect homes, and that’s a significant change to the infrastructure that connects all of us.

The high speed networks helps to save energy. Shouldn’t think just about the energy we use to run the internet.

Global C02 emissions 2% come from tech needed for the internet. Verizon, Cisco, BT, are thinking about how to bring down that two percent. But need to focus on the other 98%, and idea we can affect that by better use of the broadband and the internet.

For every extra kilowatt hour consumed by ICT, US economy’s energy saves has increased ten times, but haven’t optimised it. Discuss efficiencies in our homes, but not about this.

Broadband by itself doesn’t solve the problem, but it can be used as a tool, and need to think about how that could be.

Study at Verizon. Spent our time thinking about major issues confronting customers, and how do we think about the use of broadband. Broadband can decrease our dependence on oil by 11% over next 10 years.

Look at savings through telecommuting, teleconferencing, e-conservaction, e-commerce. Makes a bit difference if we focus on this. e-conservation, e.g. saving plastic by providing download instead of CD.

Telecommuting/Teleconferencing. All tried this, all not done this. All too jerky, and so we walked away from it. Cisco has a product using high-speed lines, and provides a clear picture that overcomes the human problem with conferencing. but an expensive product. Smaller product for retail home.

That fidelity overcomes the problem that people say they just can’t use this stuff. 600m tonnes of CO2 from telecommuting. Saving jet fuel by not travelling to India is the same as cost of year’s teleconferencing twice a week.

What does broadband speed have to do with this? people won’t wait, and if it doesn’t work fast they walk away from it. Net is so much faster. Things people want come faster and easier, e.g. downloading music and books. E.g. CDs in a plastic jewel box with further plastic wrapping, and you have to go to the store and come home. Downloading that music means that none of that happens.

Books, you can download the book with no paper, no travel. But if you have to go to the store to get it, then a 20 mils round trip is 1 gallon of petrol, where as shipping packages 100 miles consumes only 0.1 gallons, because of the aggregation effect of mass shipping.

Savings in carbon, energy efficiency, etc.

These are logical, but there are so much more. The way we consume and produce things is saving energy. Haven’t tried to quantify that or figure out what the right metric is.

You can’t produce a product that’s greener without making its smarter. These notions have to be married. All growth has to be smart, green growth.

Housing. We’ve talked about this forever. Can networked ICT bring down energy usage in homes? Power Authority in NY is experimenting. WWF study reports 10/15% savings in energy using wireless connected thermostat. In a connected home, where the entire home is connected by networked ITC, you can control energy all over the house.

New world of broadband and wireless, as 4G comes, more machine-to-machine will happen, so can achieve more efficiencies.

Smart transportation. To be more fuel efficient, UPS used a GPS technology to help its drivers never to make a left turn (right turn in the UK!). Company shaved 28.5 million miles off it’s route, saving 3m gallons of petrol, reduced Co2 by 31, tons. used GPS and mapping, which allowed drivers to map a route where they don’t make a left-hand turn.

Dash – which send data to traffic behind to help them avoid traffic jams. Location, mapping, directions, brings the powerless of the net to car navigation. If it works it’ll be cool and solve part of our energy problems.

In Indiana, new network and being used to become more energy efficient. Community brings down its energy usage, can start scaling what a networked world can look like. About smart heating and cooling, energy efficient appliances.

Speed matters – the faster these networks are the more efficient they are and the more efficient they make human beings, but also them ore efficient they make machine to machine connectivity.

Verizon. Lifecycle management, recycling equipment, paperless billing reduced paper use by 400 tons of carbon, video conferencing, hybrid cars and vans make up 49% of fleet, and experimenting with fuel cells in central offices.

Broadband can play a greater role in facilitating energy efficiency. Need public policies to speed ubiquitous deployment; dev of innovative applications at community level which promote efficient behaviours; business leadership through legislation like cap-and-trade.

Kevin Moss – BT
Climate change is affecting BT business now, e.g. where to put data centres when there’s increased flooding. South coast of the UK could end up with a climate like the Med by middle of this century, which will have impact on things like cooling needs.

Globescan maps top national problem in each country – for Canada, UK, Australia, they think environment is key.

Lots of research on this. There are positive and negative effects. Licence to talk about the positive depends on doing something about the negative.

BT takes a direct approach, consumes 0.7% of all UK’s energy. Then addresses their products’ lifecycle; enabled reductions, then influencing employees.

Started measuring carbon footprint in 90s. 1996 it was 1.6m tonnes of Co2, not it’s down to 0.6m tonnes. Want to reduce to 0.3m by 2016. But have got the low hanging fruits and now need to make some significant and substantive changes.

Changing business processes, using energy efficient devices, and use energy from renewable sources.

Examples: 2004, signed biggest green contract in the world for energy, renewed in 2007. A lot of energy consumed in data centre is to cool the equipment, which is itself wasting energy as heat. They cool just the back of the server and not the whole room, using curtains to isolate racks.

Vendors specify operating temp, so when they buy new equipment they raised the operating temp that they were looking for, so that resulted in less cooling required. Also using solar energy for new office in California data centre.

When a product goes to a customer, such as broadband, one problem was that they were enabling people to run computers, for e.g., more of the time.

They are making products more environmentally friendly, e.g. phones which switch off power supply when battery is charged. Move from a paradigm of ‘always on’ equipment, to always available when we want it. In business, there’s a lot of requirement still to keep computers on overnight because of software patching etc., but need to work harder to always available.

Work with customers to help them understand their own data centres and how they can save energy. Came from having done it themselves.

Energy Insight’s top 10 prediction for 07., and five of them are about IT, one important one is the intelligent energy grid, as internet can make connection between demand side and supply side.

Impact Bt can have on the world around them to inform employees and public. Teenager game, Intrigue 2016, based around teaching about Stern report. Living Lightly, people can add pledges to site of what they are going to do. And internally, they have a ‘carbon club’ to encourage savings.

Finally, affecting government. In last year, have struggled to continue reduction, so are getting involved in influencing policy in this area. After Stern Report came out, an industry response came out in support of findings, and if anything said gov’t needs to do more, quicker, with a predictable path of regulation. Proposal regarding electricity labelling. So engaged in policy where previously they weren’t.

Bas Boorsma – Cisco
Was a slightly underemployed blogger, was enjoying his job. But 14 months ago, got a call offering him to work on using ICT to reduce carbon emissions. Programme to partner with cities to work with IT to create new products, services, proof of concepts, to create a more sustainable way of living, working, learning, transport. Five year commitment.

Public/private partnership. Three cities: San Francisco, Amsterdam, Seoul. Each has a lot of IT companies. Each ready to engage. Each has a lot of broadband, which is the basis for these solutions.

Not called sustainable urban dev, but connected urban dev, as the connected aspect is important.

Activists trying to ensure cities become green, and others making cities connected, so need to be green and connected. IT can do 10x more to save energy than it takes energy to run.

Change processes, change patterns of transport, education, healthcare, commerce, all together. Bring the information to the user not the user to the information. We don’t do this – people travel to work, and then you email lots of other places, which totally doesn’t make sense. Replace ‘information’ with ‘water’ it’s more visible. Have the technology to change all this, it’s not an opportunity it’s a necessity.

Talking to other cities, and are specialising in one particular area so their findings can be shared with other cities. Amsterdam focuses on smart work; SF on green smart connected bus; other cities are rethinking entire urban design all together; Lisbon is working on smart energy grids.

Amsterdam is one of the most congested regions in Europe. Some predictions say traffic in Amsterdam will grind to a halt in 2/3 years. Sense of urgency in policy makers, and want to know what they can do for connected urban development. Road pricing is an issue in the minds of policy makers around the world, some people like it, some hate it. Road pricing becomes an imperative solution, but if you get it out there you also have to think about creating sufficient alternatives. Alternative of public transport is a myth, it won’t work. So need to look at different means, but need to ensure that citizens have information available on all options.

E-work. People regularly associate it with working from home, which is perfect and much more economic. Get to mix private life and work. But problems: disturbances from family and children. And if everyone were to stay at home, there would be another consequence which is people put up their thermostats at home, so have less efficient energy use there. Home environment is not a very professional environment, can’t do meetings there.

So instead create a smart work centre environment, which is close to where people live, but which provides a large packet of services. Smart Work Centre, “integrated service concept”, flexible work stations, conference rooms, child day care, restaurants, telepresence facilities etc.

What’s nice about telepresence is that it’s really new. Can insert into larger Amsterdam region because there’s already huge fibre deployment. Putting in telepresence facilities in all smart work centres, takes up 20mbps. Also looking at residential versions.

Cisco have 190 telepresence facilities worldwide, and saved $75 m in avoided travel, especially short-haul flights.

Getting pilot work centre required a lot of collaboration and work, and things are working and ready to open up.

Broadband is essential, high bandwidth and symmetry is essential to facilitate smart work environments. Can scale into home environments too. Forging required network capacity that allows for smart buildings, smart energy grids, smart urban transport systems and smart citizens.

Are we in time with this? May never know.

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