SCTE, cable operators pledge to reduce network energy use by 2020

The Society of Cable Television engineers announced a plan Thursday to 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 says its "Energy 2020" initiative will be a collaborative effort involving Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications, Bright House, Bend Broadband, Rogers Communications, Suddenlink Communications and Buckeye CableSystems.

Goals of the program are 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.

"We're trying to eliminate energy and power as being an obstacle to our competitiveness," Mark Dzuban, SCTE president and CEO, told FierceCable. "We see what's happening with coal [and other energy sources]. Power consumption is growing linearly. And our growth has become astronomical. We're asking ourselves, what can we do today to be technical and strategic about how we think about energy in the future."

Dzuban said the SCTE, an active body for the development of ANSI standards, will also work closely with technology vendors including Arris and Cisco. The 2020 timeline, he said, will match up with the rollout of the next generation of network hardware. 

The standards and best practices borne out of the initiative will affect the network operations of cable operators. Technical standards for set-tops deployed to subscribers--which have come under public scrutinity of late for their ample power use--are set by CableLabs. 

For more:
- read this press release

Related links:
Cable STBs have become power hogs
SCTE and CableLabs set DOCSIS 3.1, Wi-Fi symposium
Comcast exec Johnston named SVP of operations at SCTE