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Verizon sets energy efficiency standard

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Verizon today announced what it says are the global telecom industry’s first energy-efficiency standards, designed to reduce by 20% the power consumed by new telecom-related equipment starting Jan. 1, 2009.

Verizon is moving on its own because the industry standards process for reducing power consumption, both to reduce costs and protect the environment, isn’t moving fast enough, said Chuck Graff, director-corporate network and technology. Verizon also established its own measurement process for determining power consumption for broadband, video, data-center, network and customer premises equipment. The series of Telecommunications Equipment Energy Efficiency Ratings is based on formulas that test the consumption of equipment in various operating conditions and settings.  Verizon has developed formulas for each type of equipment and when test data are entered into the formulas this is an indication as to whether or not specific equipment meets the required rating.

“There really isn’t any specific requirements for energy consumption and heat dissipation – there are objectives in Telcordia requirements but not standards,” Graff said. “We sit on the ATIS team that is looking at this, we chaired it last year, and the committee is looking at it but the standards process is very slow.”

Verizon did its own polling of vendors in conjunction with an energy summit the company hosted in March of 2007, and found most vendors felt a 10% to 15% reduction in power consumption for their new equipment could be reasonably accomplished, Graff said. “We wanted to push them a little, so we made it 20%.”

When Verizon presented its power reduction plans to the ATIS group, other service providers including Qwest and AT&T supported the idea, but vendors weren’t in agreement, Graff said.

The new requirement applies to new equipment bought after Jan. 1, 2009, not to systems Verizon is already buying or deploying. Among the equipment covered by the new requirement are optical and video transport systems, switches and routers, DSLAM high-speed internet equipment and optical line termination gear, as well as switching power systems, data center servers and power adapters that operate customer equipment.

Vendors will have to devote engineering resources to redesigning their equipment to meet the new standards, but should not incur additional manufacturing costs, Graff said.

Once a national standard has been established, Verizon will adopt that, Graff said. The company will also “evaluate where our vendors are in a year and decide whether 20% is reasonable, based on the feedback we are going to get. We think these are doable numbers if they put their effort towards that.”

One aspect of reducing power consumption is creating different levels of usage, to include a “sleep” cycle in which equipment is available for use but not consuming power until required to do so, Graff said. BT is looking at similar technology for its broadband deployments.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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