American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Energy Consumption and Environmental Implications of Wired Access Networks

Slavisa Aleksic and Ana Lovric

DOI : 10.3844/ajeassp.2011.531.539

American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Volume 4, Issue 4

Pages 531-539


Problem statement: Wired broadband Internet access can be realized using various technologies, configurations and protocols. It is widely deployed and able to provide both high data rates and high reliability. These features are of strong importance for many advanced applications. Since the number of broadband subscribers worldwide grows exponentially, the power efficiency of access networks becomes increasingly important. Approach: The aim of this study is to study power consumption of different wired broadband access technologies including both those already widely used and those which are state-of-the-art, but not yet widely deployed. For this purpose, we developed a model for evaluating energy efficiency of wired access networks. The model is presented and applied to study energy efficiency of various access networks such as Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC), Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), 1 and 10 Gbit/s point-to-point ethernet and Passive Optical Networks (1G-PON and 10G-PON). The metric for energy efficiency we used in this study is energy consumed per bit transmitted. Results: Results of the comparative study on energy efficiency of different access networks are shown and discussed. Additionally, we estimated environmental implications of different access options by means of reductions in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions caused by the electricity consumption of access network infrastructure. Conclusion: We found out that high-speed optical access technologies providing up to 10 Gbit/s per user have the potential to achieve the highest energy efficiency when assuming future broadband Internet access and broad use of advanced services and applications. However, for lower access data rates, 1G-PONs are the most energy efficient access options. Coper-based access technologies provide generally lower energy efficiency than the fiber based solutions. For transferring a large amount of data and when network equipment is switched off during its inactivity times, optical access technologies have the highest potential to reduce GHG emissions caused by the electricity consumption of access network infrastructure.


© 2011 Slavisa Aleksic and Ana Lovric. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.