Le déploiement de la fibre optique dans une zone résidentielle (Photo Adobe Stock)

Fiber reduces the carbon footprint of Information and Communication Technologies


ICT are essential levers to meet the challenge of a global reduction of CO2″ announces the European digital “think tank” IDATE DigiWorld, in a summary note during the conference organized in Barcelona (Spain), on February 28. , during the “Green All-optical Network Forum”, organized on the sidelines of the “Mobile World Congress”.

Global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have experienced exponential and particularly dramatic growth over the past three decades, which must be a major concern for our societies. Their harmful environmental impact must therefore push governments, but also companies and civil society to reorganize and find cutting-edge solutions to meet this challenge.

The telecommunications industry is not left behind, underlines IDATE. ” It is undergoing significant changes aimed at reducing its carbon footprint thanks to innovations and cutting-edge solutions “. ICT and digital network innovations are more than ever at the heart of these changes.

Information and Communication Technologies and their levels of connectivity have revolutionized our daily lives, including our ways of communicating, having fun, collaborating or working. The generalization of teleworking, during the health crisis, pursued by a good number of companies which have little reduced their work-related costs, are the best example of this.

According to IDATE, “ the widespread adoption of ICT has fostered solutions in different industries. They could reduce the current rate of CO2 emissions by 15% to 20% », in particular with the fiber technology which promises to be more energy efficient, with a lower carbon footprint.

Still according to IDATE “ fiber consumes three times less energy than xDSL and 10 times less than 4G “. Based on data from the “Smarter 2030” study by the GeSI (Global e-Sustainability Initiative), the think tank estimates that the reductions enabled by fiber will reach 1.6 Gt of CO2 by 2030.

“Fiber would have a direct influence on industry’s ability to reduce CO2 emissions by being more energy efficient”

It is clear that the telecommunications industry has begun its migration to 100% fiber networks, the latter constituting the backbone network for 5G and for fiber closest to the user (FFTx). According to ICT experts, fiber constitutes a very high-speed network with significant bandwidth, capable of providing more simultaneous internet services, with a significantly lower carbon footprint than other communication technologies. But ICT is not limited to networks, because if fiber is capable of reducing the carbon footprint, this is not the case for equipment and in particular the increasingly numerous data centers and energy consumers.

But if we focus on fiber optic networks, it will be necessary to go through a more capillary distribution, to do without microwave connections, which consume large amounts of energy and thus reduce the carbon footprint even more. This is what IDATE advocates

This reduction should not be overlooked continues IDATE. ” On the one hand, fiber would have a direct influence on the industry’s ability to reduce its CO2 emissions by being more energy efficient. On the other hand, it would exert an indirect influence on the more efficient use of energy, heating or water consumption thanks to the optical networks of measuring devices or meters “.

Smart homes in larger environments such as airports, hotels or connected campuses, as well as electrical networks or factories with high digital equipment, are all examples identified by the Think Tank, and which can be used by manufacturers who ask questions about the digital strategy to adopt

In the manufacturing industry, a combination of very high speed access and the Internet of Things would pave the way for innovative applications and solutions such as 3D printing, smart sensors or automation which are likely to reduce CO2 emissions.

Overall, these digital innovations combined with emerging technologies like AI or IoT can optimize the structure of energy consumption, improve business efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint. “, supports the IDATE.

For the think tank, a pioneer in the digital economy, which has been supporting major digital developments for 40 years, ” manufacturers should give greater consideration to the use of optical fibre. As these manufacturers develop a strategic environmental roadmap, we would like to highlight the important lever that fiber optic networks could represent. »

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