BT Trials "Cool Broadband"
UK telecom provider BT is working on broadband delivery technology that varies its power in response to demand.
The "latest generation of Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) line cards - which allow up to 20Mbit/s broadband speeds on the last mile of the network - [operates] in an 'always available' rather than 'always fully on' mode…BT’s network infrastructure currently accounts for more than 60 per cent of its carbon footprint and the access network represents a large part." BT reports this new tech - called "cool broadband" - is still under development, but has already been used in a small customer trial.
BT's 2001 Sustainability report notes, "Lines automatically switch to a low-power mode when user or network traffic is low and return to full speed when traffic picks up. This reduces energy consumption (by around 30% per line) and costs, without affecting service. There are a number of technical challenges to overcome, but this technique could play a key role in helping us further reduce the environmental impacts of broadband products and services."