Summit to tackle Internet energy drain

24 August 2012

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), Alcatel-Lucent and the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) will host the inaugural Australian Energy-Efficient Internet Summit on the 18 September 2012.

The Summit will highlight energy-related challenges facing the ICT and telecommunications sector, and it’s customers, and explore collaborative approaches for improving the energy efficiency of the Internet.

Communication technologies currently consume about 2% of the world’s electricity supply - approximately the same as the total electricity generating capacity of Australia. Given strong growth trends, the combined energy consumption of telecommunications networks, cloud services and the Internet could grow to more than 10% of world’s electricity supply. This is a major issue for the sustainability of telecommunications and ICT, and any consumer of these services.

Inviting direct participation from Australia’s telecommunications, ICT and Internet sectors, CEET Director, Prof Rod Tucker said, “We have the opportunity to be real leaders in this area. Australia’s NBN is already based on the most energy-efficient network, fibre-to-the-premise technology, to a large proportion of the Australian population. However significant advances in achieving a more sustainable internet will only be achieved by all stakeholders coming together to share insight and experience across the entire network and ICT environment.”

Sean O’Halloran, Alcatel-Lucent Australia President and Managing Director said, “Energy is a major business issue for our industry and customers but also a growing environmental concern. The internet is certainly part of the solution to global sustainability, but only if we address this major outstanding factor: the energy efficiency of the underlying networks and systems. This is not an issue we can ignore and now is the time for industry to come together to contribute to the solutions.”

Bob Hayward, a keynote speaker at the event and a national board member of AIIA said, “Collaboration across the IT and telecommunications sector can help delay or even avoid the impending growth in energy consumption by ICT as the world becomes more digital. At the same time we must never forget that using ICT almost always reduces the overall environmental impact throughout the economy. For example, procuring digital services online is a far better environmental outcome than the alternatives.”

Recognising the complex interconnected nature of the network and ICT environment, the Summit will bring together equipment and system vendors, operators, service and application providers and researchers to explore how different network elements contribute to network energy consumption and the various approaches that could be taken to improve their efficiency.

Keynote addresses include Seán O’Halloran, President and Managing Director, Alcatel-Lucent Australia, Bob Hayward, Board Director, AIIA and Kerry Hinton, Deputy Director of CEET.