NCTA teams with CEA to cut modem and router power use by 10% - 20%

After successfully establishing voluntary energy-efficiency guidelines for pay-TV set-tops, the NCTA and CEA are teaming up again to make modems, routers and other premises-based Internet equipment more efficient.

The two associations announced a joint initiative that runs through 2017 to improve energy efficiency by small network equipment (SNE) by 10 to 20 percent compared to the devices currently being deployed in the market. The effort targets roughly 80 million American homes.

Just as with the set-top program, volunteer participants will report the energy efficiency of their SNE devices to an independent third party. Every major pay-TV operator that supplies broadband (i.e. everyone besides the satellite carriers) has already signed on, including AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications, Cablevision, CenturyLink and Bright House Networks.

Said Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency for the U.S. Department of Energy: "DOE appreciates industry's voluntary commitment to improving the energy efficiency of small network equipment, and looks forward to the progress they can make and verification of the impacts at the appropriate time."

In 2013, the NCTA spearheaded a similar initiative among the 11 top pay-TV operators to make set-tops more efficient. The group said that energy-efficient set-tops stemming from the initiative drove a 4.4 percent decline in energy use in the first year of implementation alone. According to the agreement's first annual report, the improved set-top box energy efficiency saved American consumers roughly $168 million in energy bills and nearly 842,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

In 2014, the Society of Cable & Telecommunications Engineers announced separate plan the group said would provide cable system operators with new standards, technology, solutions and training to significantly cut the energy use and cost of their networks by 2020. The SCTE's "Energy 2020" effort includes Comcast, TWC, Cox Communications, Bright House, Bend Broadband, Rogers Communications, Suddenlink Communications and Buckeye CableSystems.

SCTE's "Energy 2020" goals include to reduce power consumption by 20 percent on a unit basis; to cut energy cost by 25 percent (also on a unit basis); to reduce grid dependency by 10 percent; to optimize technical facilities and datacenter footprint by 20 percent; and to establish vendor partnerships that will impact hardware development by the end of the decade.

For more:
- read this press release from the NCTA and CEA

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