Networking the Green Economy

How Broadband and Related Technologies Can Build a Green Economic Future

Report Partners

How Broadband & Related Technologies Can Build a Green Economic Future

While building a green economy is often discussed as a distinct goal from investing in broadband or overcoming the growing digital divide in our society, new communication technologies are actually a critical part of making our energy-hungry economy more sustainable and energy-efficient.

The Communications Workers of America's Speed Matters project, along with our partners the National Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and the Blue Green Alliance, has released a joint report Networking the Green Economy: How Broadband & Related Technologies Can Build a Green Economic Future. Watch our video, read the report's key insights below or download the full report to the right.


Key Insights

  • By transforming the way people and businesses use technology, the United States can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 20 percent by 2020 - and potentially see gross energy and fuel savings of $2 trillion over the next two decades.
  • Increasing grid efficiency through real-time monitoring, automation and self-healing capabilities of distribution-level smart grid systems can increase grid efficiency, which results in reduced energy generation and reduced energy use. Energy savings equivalent to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from 53 million cars could be achieved by improving the efficiency of the grid by just 5 percent.
  • Allowing various building systems to communicate and interact with each other through smart technologies will thereby reduce energy use and buildings' negative impact on the environment.
  • Increased adoption of broadband technology and telehealth practices could decrease travel by allowing doctors to monitor and consult with patients remotely. Telehealth technologies could avoid 850,000 transports between emergency departments, resulting in transit cost savings of $537 million a year.
  • However, broadband subscription rates are under 50 percent for some groups, including certain minority populations, rural communities, and households with incomes of less than $50,000 per year. To fully realize a robust green economic future, it will take a firm and long-standing commitment to extend transformative communication technologies, such as broadband, to everyone.

We look forward to a vibrant discussion and starting longer-term work to make networking a greener economy a reality.