How Comcast improved its internet service’s energy efficiency by 40%

how comcast improved its internet service’s energy efficiency by 40%

How Comcast improved its internet service’s energy efficiency by 40%

The Internet is not exactly a green technology. Whether it’s the electricity gobbled up by servers, PCs and other tools that access and deliver the online world, or the e-Waste that’s piling up in landfills, being connected has its environmental downsides.

Comcast, though, says it has managed to reduce the electricity it uses to deliver data across its network by 40% over the last five years.

That puts the company close to its goal of doubling its network energy efficiency by 2030, with a goal of cutting the electricity per consumed byte of data in half. Ultimately, Comcast hopes to be carbon neutral by 2035 for Scope 1 (direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by a company) and Scope 2 (indirect emissions from purchased electricity, steam, heat, and cooling) emissions in its global operations.

In 2019, the company says, a terabyte of data would consume 18.4 kilowatt hours of electricity. Last year, that figure dropped to 11.0 kilowatt hours.

“By moving more computing power to our edge cloud, we can leverage leaner, greener technology to process more customer traffic with less electricity,” said Elad Nafshi, executive vice president and chief network officer at Comcast in a statement. “These next-generation technologies will further drive efficiency through real-time performance visibility that can detect issues and self-heal—delivering a service that is better for both our customers and the planet.”

Some 63% of the world’s population is online today. At the start of the 21st century, that figure was just 8%. That has increased environmental concerns about the impact of activities like web browsing, social media updates, and video streaming.

The average Internet user is responsible for the emission of 229 kilograms of carbon dioxide per year, according to a recent look at the sustainability of digital content consumption. That works out to about 3 to 4% of per capita greenhouse gas emissions. The impact, though, can vary considerably depending on the carbon intensity of the electricity used to power the devices those people are using.

To put that 3 to 4% figure into context, emissions from the aviation industry total just 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

There are some ways for individuals to help in the effort to reduce the environmental impact of being online. Video streaming is a much more carbon-intense activity than looking at images or text-based sites. A single minute of TikTok scrolling, for instance, uses twice as much CO2 as a minute on Instagram.

Still, on the whole, users have a hard time determining just what sort of impact their Internet habits have on the environment. Digital carbon usage is largely invisible. There are, however carbon tracker browser extensions, such as Carbonalyser, which lets users visualize their own electricity consumption and the total greenhouse gas emissions their internet habits cause.

Changing user habits, though, will only take care of part of the problem. To lessen the global impact of the Internet on the environment, providers like Comcast will need to continue to find ways to delivery more data with less energy even as demand for their services increases.

This post originally appeared at fastcompany.com

Subscribe to get the Fast Company newsletter: http://fastcompany.com/newsletters

OTHER NEWS

24 minutes ago

Prince Harry 'hunting for secluded UK home' near King Charles' Highgrove base

24 minutes ago

Viktor Orban criticised for ‘Make Europe Great Again’ slogan

24 minutes ago

Data shows fuel prices set to come down next month

24 minutes ago

Zilch weighs London IPO as it secures £100 million debt financing

24 minutes ago

EastEnders favourite in danger from killer Six as he gets in way too deep

24 minutes ago

Are you getting enough potassium? This luxury PEARL POWDER hydration drink has given shoppers 'amazing results' for their skin, hair and overall energy levels

24 minutes ago

'Best luxury dupe on the market!': This $50 Vitamin C+E Ferulic Serum on Amazon gives dull and dehydrated skin a major GLOW (and we have before and after photos for proof)

24 minutes ago

Sebastian Maniscalco On How ‘Bookie’ Is Here To Stay; Teases Guest-Filled Season 2 – Crew Call Podcast

24 minutes ago

Louisiana becomes 1st state to require Ten Commandments displays in classrooms

24 minutes ago

Waterloo Region continues battle with extreme heat

24 minutes ago

The Ten Commandments must be displayed in Louisiana classrooms under requirement signed into law

28 minutes ago

Tae Kwon Do instructors fight off man who was trying to sexually assault woman in Cypress area, sheriff says

28 minutes ago

Photos and videos showing high water along Texas coast from Tropical Storm Alberto

30 minutes ago

Orphaned B.C. sea otter pup in critical condition, receiving 24-hour care

30 minutes ago

Canada Basketball announces men’s training camp roster ahead of Olympics

30 minutes ago

Cucumber Recall Map as FDA Issues Highest Alert in Four States

30 minutes ago

A Late Casino Mogul’s Nevada Ranch Hits the Market for $15 Million

30 minutes ago

Weight-lifting is the key to staying healthy in your 70s and beyond

30 minutes ago

Who Should Be The Golden Knights Second Line Centre

30 minutes ago

'Please don't give up on your dog' DSPCA appeal to owners to be patient with new pets

30 minutes ago

Comment: "The young need housing help, not more lecturing"

30 minutes ago

Trump appeared to believe he still had ‘foreign policy powers’ after leaving White House: Author

30 minutes ago

Ex-OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever – who helped oust Sam Altman – to start safe AI company

30 minutes ago

Tommy Tuberville offers to teach Schumer how to properly grill: ‘We call that communism’

30 minutes ago

Indiana dad stabs son to death in fight over dirty dishes: police

30 minutes ago

Celebrity approved skin hack: Kim Kardashian's favorite luxury skincare brand just launched a new high-tech at-home facial steamer - and it's 35% off using our exclusive code

30 minutes ago

Skechers bestselling sneakers that feel 'unbelievably' comfortable are just $54.99 at QVC today - and they come in seven different colors (that's 31% off!)

30 minutes ago

'All I have to say is WOW!': This viral Dyson cordless vacuum is over $100 off right now at QVC  - and it comes with five bonus accessories

30 minutes ago

111SKIN Rose Gold Radiance Booster leaves your skin glowing and baby-soft: 'My face looks so radiant!'

34 minutes ago

Relatives of people killed in 2 Boeing Max crashes ask the US to fine the company $24.8 billion

34 minutes ago

Families of those killed in Boeing Max crashes ask Justice Department to impose $24 billion fine

35 minutes ago

Billy Ray Cyrus' estranged wife Firerose accuses him of domestic abuse

35 minutes ago

The ‘Strawberry Moon' will rise this week — and you may notice something special about it

35 minutes ago

Princess Charlene Has a Glam Moment at the 63rd International Television Festival Closing Ceremony

35 minutes ago

Boston Celtics Lose Key Member of Organization After NBA Finals

35 minutes ago

Renowned Sports Analyst Urges Mavericks to Cut Ties with Kyrie Irving and Pursue Elite Free Agent NBA Star

35 minutes ago

Lakers News: Los Angeles Lakers' Future Clouded by Monty Williams Firing

35 minutes ago

Emma Raducanu discovers Wimbledon fate as three Grand Slam-winning mothers return

35 minutes ago

Where to watch Queen's Club 2024: TV channel, live stream, prize money for Wimbledon warm-up tennis event

35 minutes ago

Andy Murray injury fears as he retires from Queen’s