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Honors for Improving Home Tech Energy Efficiency


As industry innovation connects millions of U.S. homes every day, CTA and NCTA - Internet & Television Association are working closely with internet service providers and manufacturers to improve the energy efficiency of broadband devices and save consumers money. Though launched just a few years ago, the industry’s Small Network Equipment Voluntary Agreement (SNE-VA) has already achieved remarkable results and just recently earned the seventh annual Environmental Leader’s Project of the Year Award.

The environmental trade publication of the same name announced the winners of this year’s awards at the Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference in Denver, CO, on May 14. Award organizers selected recipients based on the success and capabilities of their project or product, and its positive contribution toward sustainability. In praising CTA and NCTA’s initiative, judges cited its rapid and successful results as well as its establishment of an effective alternative to traditional regulation that’s better suited for fast-moving industries.

The industry launched the agreement in 2015 after CTA and NCTA had spent months collaborating with major internet service providers and device manufacturers on its development. Less than five years later, the initiative has consistently reached its goals. According to the latest independent auditor’s annual report, the VA already improved the efficiency of home internet devices — such as modems and routers — by 20%. The same report also found 98% of units met rigorous efficiency standards even as consumers demanded more capable devices to support higher speeds and emerging smart home technologies within their home.

A Greener Future

Commenting on his company’s key role establishing the agreement and developing its technical requirements, Larry Robinson, senior vice president and segment leader, Customer Premises Equipment at CommScope, noted how “the initiative echoes our own philosophy of conservation through innovation. By constantly improving the technology we use to stay connected, we’re creating a brighter, greener future for everyone.”

Notably, the agreement’s signatories include all of the nation’s largest consumer internet service providers (Altice, AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Frontier and Verizon) and also major manufacturers (Actiontec, ARRIS, Netgear, Technicolor and Ubee). CableLabs also led research and development of energy efficiency strategies and supported implementation of the agreement.

CTA and NCTA created the SNE agreement based off the success of the award-winning voluntary agreement for set-top boxes (STB). Environmental Leader also recognized the STB agreement’s achievements when it was named a Project of the Year in 2016. Once the industry saw how this collaborative, voluntary approach could effectively improve the energy efficiency of STBs, stakeholders created a new agreement involving the energy used by other essential home tech devices — internet equipment. The success of the agreement ultimately shows how effective voluntary, private sector-driven agreements can be in providing meaningful energy and cost savings to consumers and the country. Whether by innovating devices that are faster and smarter, or ones that help reduce energy costs, the industry is taking strong leadership in improving the energy efficiency of home technology.

Elliot Grimm

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