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UPDATE UK ISP TalkTalk Highlights its Green Energy Saving Credentials

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 (8:20 am) - Score 823

Consumers are gobbling more and more data from broadband ISPs every year, yet that hasn’t stopped low cost Internet provider TalkTalk from announcing that their carbon footprint (emissions) have actually fallen by 34% between 2010 (29,143 tons of Co2) and 2014 (19,291 tons).

According to TalkTalk, the reduction represents roughly the same amount of carbon as 4,782 “average” households would generate in a year and all of that has been achieved at a time of increasing capacity in order to cope with rising demand on their network.

The ISP claims that homes on their network now gobble an average of 44GB (GigaBytes) of data every month, which more than doubles to over 100GB for those on their superfast “Fibre Broadband” (FTTC) services. Since 2010/11 TalkTalk claims to have increased bandwidth by 218%, but despite that the amount of energy they use has, during the last year alone, actually fallen by 8.3%.

Gary Steen, TalkTalk’s New CTO, said:

This has been achieved by improving the way our buildings are run and keeping a close eye on energy usage, using free air cooling in data centres where available by switching from air conditioning to circulating filtered air from outside, and by getting everybody at TalkTalk to commit to energy saving measures.

We are working towards ISO 50001 and EU Code of Conduct guidelines and are replacing older and less efficient equipment. As well as making TalkTalk greener, its also a great way to keep costs low so we can continue delivering great value to customers. We make significant savings every year in energy costs, and we’re committed to a 70 per cent reduction on 2010-2011 carbon footprint by 2020.”

Sadly TalkTalk are one of the only big ISPs to detail their energy consumption, although BT does occasionally reveal some similar information. Mind you it’s rarely clear whether the environmental impact from disposing or recycling of the old equipment is considered.

UPDATE 8th Jan 2015

The boss of AAISP, Adrian Kennard, has given a reaction to this by attempting to express the difficulties of judging such improvements. “It is actually quite hard for us to say we are reducing carbon emissions, mainly because we have always had an attitude of being quite efficient long before it was trendy,” said Kennard. Never the less he does offer up a more practical list of real-changes that have been made, which are quite interesting.

• Our offices (as of about a year ago) have nice efficient LED lighting where lights are on all day. We plan to cover all of the lights eventually.

• We already have a cycle rack and company bikes for those that want to use them.

• Office PCs that would not otherwise do so are set to hibernate overnight.

• We already use heat pump / air-con for heating, so over 100% efficiency.

• We have always sent invoices and statements by email rather than paper.

• In our core network we use what is probably the lowest power routers available, the FireBrick FB6000 series that handle a gigabit of customer traffic in 0.1A.

• Some staff work from home where possible to reduce travelling.

So you are unlikely to see news items about how we have made massive reductions – as doing so is admitting you were massively inefficient before,” concluded Kennard.

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