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SCTE Pushes Cable Energy Savings

Alan Breznick

Seeking to cut the cable industry's power consumption and corresponding energy costs, Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) has launched a five-year program to make the industry more energy-efficient by the end of the decade.

Under the new program, known as "Energy 2020," the SCTE is teaming up with US and Canadian cable operators and equipment vendors to trim energy use and costs in five major areas -- facilities, plant, operations, technology, and marketing/regulatory. In all, the program has identified 12 "primary initiatives" across these five categories.

SCTE CEO Mark Dzuban said the driving force behind the group's initiative is to "eliminate energy and power as obstacles to our competitiveness." After taking a close look at what's happening with coal and other energy sources, he said, organization leaders want to make sure the industry factors energy consumption and costs into its next cycle of technology development and deployment.

The Energy 2020 program, which grew out of SCTE's five-year-old Smart Energy Management Initiative (SEMI), spells out five prime goals for the industry to meet over the next five years. It calls for cable operators to: cut power consumption by 20% on a unit basis; slash energy costs by 25% on a unit basis; reduce grid dependency by 10%; optimize technical facilities and data center footprint by 20%; and establish partnerships with vendors to enact similar savings in hardware development. (See SCTE Lines Up Green Event Agenda.)

"We want to make sure our competitiveness is well established," Dzuban said. "We took it [this process] pretty seriously. We didn't make it easy on ourselves."

Eight North American cable operators have already signed up as partners in the program, including the three largest MSOs in the US and the largest one in Canada. The lineup of the eight initial participants is as follows: Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications Inc. , Bright House Networks , Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI), Suddenlink Communications , Buckeye CableSystem , and BendBroadband .

SCTE and MSO officials aim to bring the industry's leading equipment suppliers on board as well. With such major vendors as Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) already active in SCTE's standards body, they and others are expected to join the effort shortly.

Dzuban said SCTE and MSO executives will spell out the details of the energy-savings program at SCTE's Cable-Tec Expo show in Denver in late September. Among other things, officials are looking to leverage such alternative energy sources as solar, hydrogen, and propane to help them meet their new savings targets.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Sabre
6/28/2014 | 1:31:58 PM
Always Forward
I have always thought the SCTE was very forward thinking in its approach to the industry and this is just another example of how they do it. 
Kevin Mitchell
Kevin Mitchell,
User Rank: Lightning
6/27/2014 | 2:53:23 PM
Cloud Source For Power Savings
There are networks and equipment that service providers no longer need to run and can instead turn to the cloud. Voice is one such network and MSOs can say bye-bye to the power hungry servers and hardware and eliminate that power cost completely. Beyond the success-based SaaS model, streamlined management and operational efficiencies, the cloud makes voice greener and can help service providers reduce their power needs.
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