The Greening of Broadband

Portrait of female engineer in safety helmet and uniform using laptop checking solar panels.

In honor of Earth Day, we’re checking in on some of the strides internet providers are taking toward a more energy-efficient and sustainable future.

Why it matters: An estimated 500 billion electronic devices will be in use by 2030. And each has the ability to generate a significant carbon footprint. To prepare, it’s important that we identify ways to manage and reduce the amount of energy it takes to manufacture and use these devices – a win-win for both consumers and broadband providers.

The Road to Carbon Neutrality

From investing in clean, renewable energy to power their networks and operations, to shifting to more energy-efficient TV and internet equipment, major cable broadband providers – Comcast, Cox, Charter – have plans in place to reach carbon neutrality by 2035.

Here’s the latest:

  • 64 million metric tons of CO2 emissions – the equivalent of burning 140 million barrels of oil – have been eliminated since internet providers and consumer electronics manufacturers signed two voluntary energy-efficient agreements.
  • Comcast has reduced the electricity it takes to deliver each byte of data across its network by 36% since 2019. It plans to double energy efficiency by 2030. cutting the electricity per consumed byte of data in half.

Bonus: In the past nine years, consumers have saved nearly $12 billion in electricity costs, thanks to energy efficiency improvements made to set-top boxes that are used to watch TV.

Other Steps Towards Energy Efficiency

Cable broadband providers are also making changes to curb the amount of energy that’s used in their manufacturing facilities and data centers, as well as by their vehicle fleets – here are some examples:

  • Comcast signed its first large-scale renewable energy agreement to purchase 250 megawatts of solar electricity that will power approximately 12% of its U.S. operations with clean, renewable energy starting in 2025.
  • Cox set and achieved its zero-waste-to-landfill goal in 2022, two years ahead of its original target date.
  • Midco is working to avoid using more of its trucks on the road and is testing energy-efficient power solutions for team members in the field.
  • Charter continues to look for ways to use more energy efficient equipment and systems across its network.

Dive deeper: See what other initiatives cable broadband providers are launching to pave the way for a greener future.

Through energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, waste reduction and green infrastructure, the cable industry is becoming more energy efficient and making sustainability happen. Want to discover more about the different forms this innovation is taking? Click here.