Energy2020: A Great Big Call to Arms

The cable industry is aligning to massively improve its energy footprint by the year 2020, industry stalwarts said at a standing room-only afternoon session on Wednesday.

Specifically: A reduction of power consumption by 20%, while dropping energy costs by 25%, and grid dependency by 10%. But wait! There’s more: The program aims to optimize the power used in headends and data centers by 25%.

“This is a huge event that this industry must lead, to drive us to where we want to be” in the competitive environment and to both catch up and take the lead in sustainable energy, Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers, said. “We’re talking really large scale, with almost all MSOs. With passion, not just a toe in the water — we cannot fool around with this.”

John Schanz, chief network officer for Comcast and the chair of the Energy 2020 mission, urged attendees to envision the mission as one that reaches from access plant through the core network, infrastructure and all the way to the cloud. “This is not just a data-center emphasis. It’s everything,” he said.

The work of it starts with defining measurements and metrics, so as to quantify progress towards the goals, Theresa Hennesy, senior vice president and group technical adviser for Comcast, and the moderator of the session, said.

“Energy is potentially the hidden inhibitor to us in the future,” she said. “This is about how we ensure that energy does not become the inhibitor — not because we can’t get it, but because we can’t afford it.”

The work of it is parsed into 10 work streams, all of which are chaired by MSO executives, most of whom were at the Wednesday session. It commences immediately.

“We’re going to move fast, we’re going to define goals — short-term and longer-term — we’re focused on delivering results and meeting the objectives that we’re setting out today,” Marty Davidson, the SCTE’s vice president of engineering and network operations, said. “Together, we will lead this industry into an energy revolution.”