The research, completed by Sapere Research Group, finds fibre as the lowest emission broadband technology compared with copper-based VDSL, Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) and 4G and 5G fixed wireless.
Chorus CEO, JB Rousselot – speaking on behalf of the four fibre network operators – said, “This is the first research completed in New Zealand that assesses the carbon generated by different broadband technologies. It’s an important step in empowering consumers to make communications buying decisions based on what’s best for the planet.”
According to the research, a fibre broadband service generates up to five times smaller carbon footprint than other broadband technologies.
An entry level fibre plan, operating at 50Mbps, is up to 41% more efficient than copper VDSL and up to 56% more efficient than 4G fixed wireless. For higher speed plans, around 300Mbps, fibre is up 29% more efficient than HFC and up to 77% more efficient than 5G fixed wireless.
The research makes it clear that the emissions profile of fibre stays consistent as speeds increase while competing technology emissions increase with speed.
What this says is that fibre is the most sustainable of the broadband options available today and will likely continue to be the best option in the future as consumers demand high-capacity broadband services to do all the things they want online,” added Mr Rousselot. “New Zealand fibre broadband users are about to benefit from the largest ever broadband performance upgrade in New Zealand, so these sustainability benefits are about to be even more important.”
The research highlighted that equipment in the home is a major source of power usage for a fibre broadband service and contributes up to 65% of emissions – so there are future opportunities for emissions reduction in fibre networks.
The research focused specifically on broadband connections to homes and smaller businesses. It examined the emissions during the use of the access network and includes the shipping and disposal of equipment in the home, such as optical network terminals and Wi-Fi routers. When assessing fibre and VDSL, actual network data was used in the research. For other technologies, a mix of actual and theoretical data was used.
EY’s 2021 Future Consumer Index highlights that 90% of New Zealand consumers are engaged with sustainability as an issue that needs to be addressed and that half of these people will make conscious sustainable purchasing decisions at a cost to them. EY’s research also highlights the need for companies to make it easy for consumers – with 56% of people needing more information to help make better sustainability choices when they shop.
Our research is a starting point to help consumers better understand the environmental impact of their communications purchasing decisions so they can make an informed choice,” said Mr Rousselot.Learn More