SCTE: Edge, HFC Plant Are Energy Hogs

Feb. 3, 2015
According to a report issued at an SCTE Energy 2020 session in Herndon, VA, the greatest opportunity for energy cost avoidance in cable ...
According to a report issued at an SCTE Energy 2020 session in Herndon, VA, the greatest opportunity for energy cost avoidance in cable networks is in the HFC plant from the headend or hub to the home.

Between 73% and 83% of cable's overall energy consumption is by hubs and headends, as well as the access network power supplies powering the active equipment on the HFC network, according to SCTE analysis of energy usage of a cross section of major operators.

The report also indicated that market data centers and national distribution centers represent 3-7% of the industry's power usage, despite the presence of servers, video processing equipment, routers and other higher-consumption equipment. Backbone and co-location sites (1-2%) and administrative offices (10-21%) represent the remainder.

According to data usage projections from Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and energy cost estimates from the U.S. Department of Energy, annual cable energy costs could rise from more than $1 billion currently to as much as $4 billion per year by 2020.

The SCTE says the findings suggest a two-pronged cost-avoidance strategy: the replacement of existing plant and headend gear with more efficient equipment as part of normal operational maintenance, as well as the design and deployment of more efficient equipment as operators migrate to CCAP, remote PHY, PON and other architectures.