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December 17, 2007 Provided by System Dynamics Inc.

Briefly Noted: Updates, Observations and Trends

Each month, we collect miscellaneous happenings, studies, trends or observations you might have missed. This month's briefs focus on the demise of the payphone and the greening of broadband.

The Threatened Payphone

AT&T is discontinuing its payphone business which has been in place for 129 years. The steady drop in the number of US public payphones has been a result of the popularity of cell phones and the high cost of maintaining pay phones. In 1960 Bell Telephone had approximately one million payphones installed. That number swelled to about 2.6 million in 1998 and dropped back to one million in 2005. The count has been steadily declining since then. Of the major U.S. communications companies, Verizon is the sole surviving payphone provider.

Broadband: Color Me Green

There has been a flood of recent news about environmentally conscious efforts in the telecommunications/consumer electronics world. Although slow to join this move, an increasing number of US efforts have recently joined the broader movement.

  • Nokia Siemens Networks has joined the focus on "Green", announcing new energy-efficient products and setting the goal of connecting the world in a way that creates a net positive impact to the environment by maximizing the use of telecommunications.
  • In the UK, Green ISP advertises that since "powering your internet connection releases carbon emissions, we power our offices with Solar/PV and plant a tree for you when you sign up."
  • In Canada the Canarie Institute has created a presentation on the green benefits of information technology called "Saving the Planet At the Speed of Light".
  • A study from the American Consumer Institute, “Broadband Services: Economic and Environmental Benefits” shows that the use of broadband will lead to a reduction of as much as one billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions over 10 years.
  • Cox Communications has committed to conserving natural resources and protecting the environment. They have a commitment to reduce their total energy consumption and fleet emissions by 10 percent over the next decade and are implementing efforts involving efficient heating and cooling systems.
  • The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced that the 2008 International CES is taking steps to “go green” by reducing its carbon footprint and with the use of sustainable and energy efficient practices.
  • One of the many pre-CES press invitations this year comes from GreenPlug, which will be demonstrating its digital solution for an environmentally-friendly universal power interface for electronics products. The solution uses a secure, digital protocol for real-time communication between devices that require power and their power sources.

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