[LINK] Internet of Things and the environment

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Thu Mar 24 18:31:51 AEDT 2011


"For every tenth of a percent increase in broadband penetration across a 
country, it’s sustainable gross domestic product increases by around one 
percent. Every 1,000 new broadband connections creates another 80 jobs."

How the Internet of things could save the environment

By Matthew Lynley at VentureBeat  Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:23pm EDT 

That’s because having all those devices connected to a network will make 
it easier to run more efficiently any number of aspects of life that have 
an impact on the environment. 

That can range from power grids, to traffic, or to fuel efficiency. 

The biggest opportunity lies in placing all those devices on a smart 
grid — a highly efficient power grid that uses advanced programs and 
wirelessly connected devices to distribute power without wasting it. 

Vestberg made these comments at the CTIA Wireless 2011 conference in 
Orlando, Fla.

"In the next 5 years, we expect two-thirds of all electronics will have 
some connectivity in them," Vestberg said. "That means we can use a much 
more powerful grid in our society and reduce our impact on the 
environment drastically."

There’s also a holistic opportunity to reduce the impact that other 
connected devices — such as vehicles — have on the environment, he said. 

One way would be to give drivers the ability to "download" more 
horsepower to their vehicles when they need it, like when they are going 
on a long trip or going up a hill. If they don’t require it, the car 
automatically restricts that horsepower — increasing fuel efficiency and 
reducing carbon emissions. "We can increase safety and improve (carbon) 
emissions by keeping wasteful habits in check," he said.

That’s quite a potential impact, too — the average American spends around 
45 hours in a car each month, Vestberg said. 

There are also around 250 million registered vehicles in the United 
States, and many of them don’t meet emission standards and are not very 
environmentally friendly or fuel-efficient.

There’s a huge opportunity in expanding the "Internet of Things," a short-
hand way of describing a massive wireless network where most electronics 
and devices are connected to the Internet. 

For every tenth of a percent increase in broadband penetration across a 
country, it’s sustainable gross domestic product — a measure of a 
country’s output — increases by around 1 percent. Every 1,000 new 
broadband connections, whether they are mobile or fixed, also creates 
another 80 jobs, Vestberg said.

That means that there’s a huge untapped market in the United States 
alone. There are entire sections of rural America that don’t have access 
to broadband, and coverage is pretty weak in some parts of the country. 
Connecting all those remote and weakly covered areas would add another 10 
million jobs in the United States — which is pretty significant given 
that the unemployment rate still remains high at 8.9 percent.

The wireless industry accounts for around 2 percent of all carbon 
emissions today, Vestberg said. 

There are around 1 billion mobile broadband users today, and that number 
should go up to around 5 billion broadband users by 2016, Vestberg said. 

Around 85 percent of the planet has mobile coverage, and it will reach 
around 90 percent in 5 years — with around 8 billion active mobile 
subscriptions, up from 5.3 billion mobile subscriptions today.

"For the ones good in math, there’s not that many people on the planet," 
Vestberg said. "People are going to have several devices with so many 
different types of descriptions, and anything that benefits from being 
connected will be connected."

This post is sponsored by Sprint, the Now Network. As always, VentureBeat 
is adamant about maintaining editorial objectivity. Sprint had no 
involvement in the content of this post.


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