Comcast promises energy efficiency improvements for its vast cable and internet system

Comcast on Monday pledged to double the energy efficiency of its vast nationwide broadband system that channels a torrent of cable and internet data into millions of homes.

The global media and technology company with headquarters in Philadelphia said it plans to double its network energy efficiency by 2030, cutting in half the electricity consumed per terabyte of data delivered. The promise comes on top of Comcast’s goal set last year to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2035 for the direct and indirect emissions it owns and controls.

The pledge was timed to coincide with the opening of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers’ exposition at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The annual SCTE Cable-Tec Expo drew thousands of visitors before the event went virtual for the last two years because of the pandemic. This week’s event marks its return to a live venue. The society is based in Exton.

» READ MORE: How you can save on energy costs from your cable set-top box

“We’re on the path to a greener internet,” Charlie Herrin, president of the technology, product, experience organization within Comcast Cable, said in a statement. “The smart technologies powering our new network architecture are transforming how data is delivered, providing the industry’s best combination of speed, coverage, and control — all more sustainably.”

Comcast, to underscore its commitment to sustainability, said it purchased renewable energy certificates to power the cable exposition with 100% renewable energy. Comcast is among many companies that have touted their green credentials to fulfill their commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria used by socially conscious investors.

The energy efficiency changes Comcast is implementing on its system will be invisible to retail customers. Comcast says it has been transforming its network to virtual, cloud-based technologies that offer faster broadband speeds and greater reliability, The new virtualized platform includes more centralized locations for headends, hubs, and data centers that require less hardware, less space, and less energy per byte.

From 2019 to 2021, Comcast said it improved energy efficiency by 30%.

The pledge on efficiency covers only Comcast’s network and does not include set-top boxes in customer homes, those visible drains on household electrical power even when television is off. New efficiency standards for set-top boxes went into effect last year after environmental organizations pressured major cable providers to supply more efficient devices to their customers.

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