Independent Audit: More than 98 Percent of New Consumer Broadband Equipment Met Energy Efficiency Standards in 2016
WASHINGTON — More than 98 percent of internet modems, routers and other consumer broadband equipment purchased and sold in 2016 for use by U.S. residential broadband subscribers met the energy-efficiency standards of the Voluntary Agreement for Ongoing Improvement to the Energy Efficiency of Small Network Equipment.
The agreement was led by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and NCTA — The Internet & Television Association and was signed by the major U.S. broadband internet service providers and retailers of small network equipment.
According to a new report by independent auditor D+R International, this 98 percent figure increased from 89 percent a year ago, even as consumers demanded increasingly robust equipment to support higher-speed services, increased Wi-Fi capacity within their homes, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. D+R reported a 17-34 percent decrease from 2015 to 2016 in the average idle-mode energy usage per megabit of broadband service across the three categories of this "small network equipment."
The Voluntary Agreement, modeled on the highly successful award-winning agreement for set-top boxes, includes a commitment that 90 percent of the small network equipment purchased by service providers and sold at retail by vendors after Jan. 1, 2016 meets new energy efficiency standards. Signatories to the agreement include service providers AT&T/DIRECTV, Cablevision, CenturyLink, Charter/Time Warner Cable/ Bright House Networks, Comcast, Cox Communications, and Verizon; and manufacturers Actiontec, ARRIS/Pace, D-Link, EchoStar Technologies, NETGEAR, Technicolor, and Ubee Interactive.
The report finds that the signatories were highly successful in implementation of their commitments, with ten of the eleven reporting signatories meeting the 90 percent commitment and the eleventh signatory coming close, at 88 percent. Under the terms of the Voluntary Agreement, that eleventh party is developing a remedial plan that will be required to realize savings to offset the energy associated with its missed commitment.
D+R verified compliance and energy savings through review of lab verification reports of randomly selected models from each signatory by an accredited third-party lab or under the supervision of an accredited third-party observer, in which the test results averaged 1.05 watts less energy usage than had been reported by the signatories in demonstrating their compliance. In addition, as required by the Voluntary Agreement, D+R conducted a comprehensive audit of the data submitted by a randomly selected signatory and determined that the audited signatory data was consistent with its annual report.
The Voluntary Agreement is scheduled to expire after the release of the next annual report in 2018, but the parties are already working to renew the Agreement to secure energy efficiency for broadband consumers into the future.
More information about the Voluntary Agreements, including energy information about all small network equipment models purchased or sold at retail by signatories since 2015, is available at www.energy-efficiency.us.