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Broadband Users Crippling The Environment?
By: MarkJ - 28 November, 2006 (12:58 PM)

UK ISP Madasafish (Brightview) has today claimed that broadband users are crippling the environment, but not for the reasons you might expect:

The plethora of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) joining the market has seen many savvy consumers switching broadband connections in a quest to get the best possible deal. However, according to research conducted by Madasafish, one of the UK’s leading Internet Service Providers, this practice is adding to the pile-up of waste currently crippling the UK as network locked routers are being tossed out with the rubbish.

The number of redundant broadband routers in the UK currently tops the one million mark. When an ISP locks a router to its network in order to deter customers from switching providers, it renders good hardware useless and this practice is hazardous to the environment. Many consumers are unaware of this fact so Madasafish - who provide unlocked routers - are encouraging users to choose carefully when considering a new ISP.

Computer hardware like routers can be a complex assembly of hundreds of materials, some of which are very toxic. As network locked routers are not able to be reused, recycled or upgraded, most are finding their way to landfill sites across the UK, creating a potentially hazardous situation.

David Laurie, Chief Executive Officer, Madasafish said: “Most consumers are not aware that their broadband router has been locked by their Internet Service Provider. The amount of routers that are becoming null and void due to locking is increasing at approximately 100,000 per month - this is of real environmental concern.

Living an environmentally sound existence within today’s ‘techno’ society is a conundrum faced by many eco-friendly consumers. Already 100 million tonnes, or approximately 28,000 hectares of land, is filled with waste from UK households each year, and as the need to ‘go-green’ becomes more evident consumers need to be made aware of the damage they could be doing.

David added: “If this trend continues the number of disused routers will exceed 2 million by the end of 2007 – put together this is enough to build a tower 75 times taller than Big Ben. It is important that consumers are aware of the impact locked routers is having on the environment and should be alerted by their ISP so that they may make a more informed decision”.

It's certainly something we've never really considered much before, perhaps because such complaints are rarely spoken of by customers. Naturally it’s also a bit of good PR for Madasafish =).

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