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NCTA, CEA Team on Modem, Router Efficiency Standards

If at first you succeed, try, try again.

Taking a page from its 2013 voluntary agreement for set-top energy conservation, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and the Consumer Electronics Association said Thursday they are teaming on a new voluntary agreement to make routers, modems and other broadband equipment more energy efficient.

NCTA says the agreement will set "rigorous" requirements that will improve the efficiency of "small network equipment" (SNE) by 10%-20% compared to typical devices.

As with set-top boxes, ISPs and retail equipment manufacturers must report SNE energy use to an independent third party, with annual audits to make sure the equipment is meeting agreed-upon energy levels.

That sounded good to the Department of Energy.

“DOE appreciates industry’s voluntary commitment to improving the energy efficiency of small network equipment, and looks forward to the progress they can make and verification of the impacts at the appropriate time,” said Dr. Kathleen Hogan, DOE deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency, in a statement accompanying the announcement.

Among those signed on to the new agreement are AT&T, Bright House, Cablevision, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and EchoStar.

“This new commitment further demonstrates how industry takes seriously our responsibility to deliver innovative and energy-efficient services and equipment that millions of consumers rely on,” said NCTA president Michael Powell. “With Americans continuing to connect more devices to their home networks, reducing the energy footprint of Internet equipment is an industry priority.”

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.