Network scale and energy efficiency must go hand in hand

Samantha Bookman, FierceTelecomIn the rush to build high-capacity wireline networks that can handle IP traffic demands for now and the future, one element that is sometimes overlooked by those outside the industry is the amount of energy it takes to power those networks. In our latest feature, we take a look at a few of the energy-saving programs implemented by various U.S. telcos.

The Green Touch Consortium, which focuses on finding ways to reduce energy consumption in ICT networks, expects network traffic to increase 100 times in the next decade. In the meantime, energy prices are expected to increase 60 percent in Europe alone during the same time frame, according to a June presentation at a consortium session.

Dealing with this demand will take planning from several angles--not just implementing energy-saving measures but developing more efficient ways to run networks through processes, technologies, and personnel training, among other things.

While our chart looks only at energy planning, for Tier 1s AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ), that's just one element of their sustainability plan. Both have detailed plans for implementing technology innovations and workforce and community initiatives.

Other telcos may have similarly ambitious sustainability plans, but don't publicize them as widely; some are just starting to implement various solutions.

Take a look at our new feature, and feel free to add your comments on the viability of the programs listed, or initiatives we may have missed.--Sam | +Sam Bookman | @FierceSamantha

Click here to read FierceTelecom's new green telcos feature