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The Internet Poses Challenges for Sustainability

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

We already know the mercurial growth of the Internet and mobile technology. Cloud and data center traffic will increase by 440 percent by 2017, according to a recent Alcatel-Lucent blog post, and video consumption will rise by 720 percent during that time.

What many of us do not know, however, is that the Internet also damages the environment; Gartner recently showed that the Internet creates more than 300 million tons of CO2 a year. So growth of the Internet and mobility is not such a happy picture from a sustainability perspective.

If we are to combat this looming environmental challenge, it will take the work of not just individuals but also businesses committed to sustainable practices. Thankfully, sustainability can be good for companies and not just the environment.

Transforming ICT for Sustainable Telecom Applications and Services

In fact, Bell Labs is set to announce a major new initiative on January 11, 2010, which it says has the potential to drive a fundamental transformation in network technology, resulting in a significant reduction of the ICT carbon footprint.

Using communications to reduce climate change impact

At its Bell Labs facilities, and through its work with the CTVR, Alcatel-Lucent is looking to drive R&D efforts that will bring such energy efficient technologies to the next generation communications environment, helping reduce the carbon emissions from telecom equipment, which now stands at about two percent of the global carbon emissions, but is set to grow significantly in the coming years without such efforts from Alcatel-Lucent and the CTVR.
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