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Saturday, 2 August 2008

GPON FTTH greener than DSL

This interesting post from the Techslpoder blog indicates that FTTH using GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) technology is substantially better in terms of carbon emissions than current ADSL or VDSL.

Although the article is not as clear or comprehensive as it might be, it also appears that the Active Ethernet option for FTTH, which offers significantly better performance for the end user, but which requires powered switching in the street cabinet, uses more energy and therefore creates more carbon emissions that DSL. This of course assumes that the required power is generated from conventional fossil fuel sources. If solar, wind, or hydro generated power were used as a source then presumably the carbon emissions would drop right back.

The article does not cover the option of running direct fibres straight from the central office right to the home avoiding any sort of splitting or switching at the cabinet, as used in the often-cited Nuenen cooperatively owned network in Holland. So another argument, if it were needed, in favour of FTTH over DSL. However the use of renewable energy for any major ICT project must surely be an obvious feature for any community planning its own fibre roll-out, thereby further reducing carbon emissions.

1 comment:

Cybersavvy UK said...

Interesting - heard rumours about this but never seen any substantiating evidence that FTTH was more environmentally friendly than xDSL etc.

Makes a big difference to opex, one would think, and in these days of rising fuel costs you would hope it might colour some telcos and incumbents thinking to actually put in the greener tech rather than sweating not just the copper but the power stations too.