[LINK] NBN may increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Michael Still mikal at stillhq.com
Thu Apr 9 12:55:37 AEST 2009

Tom Worthington wrote:
> The government's $43B National Broadband Network plan has 
> implications for greenhouse gas emissions. An example of a negative 
> effect is that higher bandwidth devices use more electricity and will 
> therefore cause more greenhouse gas emissions. Also the digital 
> devices connected to the network tend to use more power than old 
> fashioned analog devices.  A positive effect will be if more access 
> to teleconferences results in less business travel.
> The ACS Victorian Branch conference this year is on the theme 
> "Greening ICT towards Sustainability" 15 to 16 May 2009. I am 
> facilitating a session on The Carbon Footprint and was thinking we 
> might look at the environmental implications of the NBN in the 
> workshop: <http://www.acs.org.au/vic/2009conference>.

I don't think the world is that simple though. These digital services
are often replacing things which are even worse. For example -- news
websites are better for the environment than having a teenager throw
dead tree at your house every morning (probably from a car).

Now, I'm not saying that IT is perfect, and its clear the industry can
do better in power efficiency in both the datacenter and consumer
spaces, but I do think that you have to take into account that progress
has advantages.


More information about the Link mailing list