Is broadband now essential to sustain the environment?

(TJA Editorial, February 2009)

On 29 January 2009, more than 90 doughty individuals braved the 43C Melbourne heat to attend the Awards Ceremony for the award of the 2008 Eckermann-TJA Prize, sponsored by Alcatel–Lucent as the 2008 Alcatel–Lucent Broadband Challenge for the Sustainable Environment.
In this second year of our now annual competition, nine papers were received by the Judging Panel from authors based in four countries: Australia, Ireland, the UK and the USA. The best eight papers are published in this issue of TJA. It is truly impressive to see the range of application areas covered by these papers where broadband can help save the environment:
• Improving the water efficiency in irrigation from the current level, typically less than 50%, by up to 74%;
• Reducing the energy consumption in mobile telecommunications networks by up to 70% in urban areas;
• The use of a Smart Grid for national electricity distribution, to reduce Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions by up to 9%;
• Reducing greenhouse emissions by the use of grid-charged electrically powered passenger vehicles;
• The urban application of personal rapid transport systems;
• Reduction of the carbon footprint of the Internet;
• Applying broadband to the creation of a more greenhouse efficient national electricity market.
• ‘Carbon-centric computing’: the application of ICT itself, including broadband, to more carbon-efficient ICT infrastructure
The Judging Panel decided that three of the entries were of sufficient merit to deserve to share the $10,000 2008 Eckermann-TJA Prize.
Read more here.

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