i3 - September/October 2020 - 28

Policy

By Elliot Grimm

G R E E N P O L I CY

Industry
Agreement
Impacts Energy
Efficiency and
Broadband
Access

devices to support features and speeds
required by this increased usage. Absent
this agreement, regulatory mandates
would have made it difficult to upgrade
devices and support the broadband levels we're now relying on."

The Latest Findings

The recent annual report by independent auditor D+R International, demonstrates the dramatic progress
achieved under the agreement. According to the
The STB
report, 99.8% of SNE
devices sold at retail in
agreement
2019 met the agreement's
has saved
energy efficiency levels,
ith more connected devices in American
consumers a
with 100% of signatories
homes every year, the consumer technoltotal of $5 bilmeeting their commitogy industry has made it a priority to
lion in energy
ment that 90% of their
deliver more energy efficient broadband devices. Of
costs
devices would meet these
the roughly 112 million U.S. homes with internet
levels. Notably, these efficiency improvements
access, most connect using a networking device or
have
been
achieved
even as consumers
router. In August, CableLabs®, CTA and NCTA - National
demand
robust
equipment
to support
Cable & Telecommunications Association, announced the lathigher-speed services, better Wi-Fi
est report on its voluntary agreement to improve the energy
strength and more Internet of Things
efficiency of small network equipment (SNE).
(IoT) devices.
The report also found 98.9% of new
devices in 2019 already met rigorous
energy usage to account for features
Adopted in 2015, the agreement has
"Tier 2" energy levels not scheduled to
such as new DOCSIS and Wi-Fi techalready improved the average idle-mode
begin until 2020. Agreement signatories
nologies that support higher-capacity
energy use of home internet devices by
services, the agreement enabled signato- include the major broadband internet
66% (relative to average broadband
service providers: Altice, AT&T,
ries to deploy equipment that can hanspeed) - saving consumers both energy
CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Cox,
dle more capacity than what customers
and money. Internet service providers
Frontier and Verizon, as well as leading
typically need. In contrast to prior regusigned on to the agreement cover more
device manufacturers: Actiontec, ASUS,
lations based upon then-average downthan 87 million U.S. homes - nearly
Belkin/Linksys, CommScope, Plume,
load speeds of 30 Mbps - devices
90% of the residential market.
Technicolor and Ubee Interactive.
would have faltered within days of
"Every signatory has exceeded its comThe SNE agreement is modeled on
COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, as
mitments under the agreement for four
the successful, award-winning set-top
average broadband rocketed to more
consecutive years, demonstrating the
box energy conservation voluntary
than 140 Mbps. Beneficially, the volunindustry's dedication to energy efficiency
agreement. According to that agreetary agreement enabled signatories to
even as it rises to meet the challenges of
ment's most recent report, set-top boxes
support the influx of broadband use
satisfying consumer demands for faster
now use 40% less energy than the modwithout sending new equipment to
and better internet services," says Neal
els purchased prior to the Voluntary
customer homes.
Goldberg, NCTA's General Counsel.
Agreement. Since being signed in 2012,
According to Doug Johnson, vice
the STB agreement has saved consumers
president of technology policy at CTA,
During the COVID-19 Pandemic
a total of $5 billion in energy costs.
"As so many of us work, learn and stay
The agreement has also been helpful
For more information, visit energyconnected at home via networking
beyond reducing home energy use for
efficiency.us.
devices, this initiative has enabled
consumers. By allowing additional
28

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020

i3_0920_28_Policy_GreenPolicy.indd 28

John Lamb/Getty Images

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I T I S I N N O VAT I O N

9/1/20 10:32 AM


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i3 - September/October 2020

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