High-speed broadband key to cutting carbon emissions, smart cities

AIIA, Korea and NZ talk Green IT at Korea-Australia-New Zealand Broadband Summit

Broadband partnerships and a long-term approach to Green IT is vital if countries are to cut carbon emissions, according to three industry leaders.

Speaking in the Green and sustainable ICT stream at the Korea-Australia-New Zealand Broadband Summit (KANZ) in Tasmania, CEO of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), Ian Birks, said Green IT is more than just a fad.

“We believe that Green IT has moved beyond a marketing novelty to a key business imperative,” Birks said.

“Smart grids and metering will become more important over time and will result in energy being used more effectively.”

Birks said having access to broadband was one way countries could use IT to cut carbon emissions.

“Broadband is essential to this entire process of reducing ICT costs and energy efficiency - we believe broadband will dynamically help organisations understand their carbon footprint through better management systems,” he said.

“Readily available broadband will allow businesses to connect better with customers and reduce travel time.”

The Korean representative at the summit, KT Corporation’s chief director, Byungno-No Lee, said Korea is aiming to lower its power consumption through pioneering new technologies.

“Green IT can be a solution for our society - it’s only the beginning stage at the moment,” Lee said.

“We need to find out how we’re going to lower power consumptions in every device.

"We will try to implement virtualisation and data optimisation.”

Datacraft New Zealand’s Nick Boag, who manages the public sector and enterprise division, said Green IT will force New Zealand companies to work together and change their business models.

“It’s a product of collaboration - we all need to work together to achieve outcomes,” Boag said.

“Take advantage of private investment and look to things like build, own, operate, transfer agreements to get investment in a low-cost manner.”

As well as focusing on partnerships, having a long-term focus in the often fast-paced world of IT was important to Birks and Boag, who said Australia and New Zealand may be held back if the population doesn’t adapt to new ways of doing things.

“We believe that we need government to take a key role in this situation ... this means government adoption of smart applications but also development of a consistent policy environment for delivering positive outcomes,” Birks said.

“The key issue for Australia is to elevate the debate and put pressure on the industry to take the technology today and reduce the impact on carbon emissions.”

Boag agreed, saying that a long-term view of technology provides for future growth.

“Our cities have to change radically and we have to find entirely new ways of how we live, work and play,” he said.

“What’s needed is a long term view that provides for this growth.”

The insights come as the summit yesterday heard that low-cost broadband will be the key to the uptake of the NBN.

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAu

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Tags green ITKANZ broadband summitKorea-Australia-New Zealand (KANZ) Broadband Summit

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