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University of Melbourne brings GreenTouch efforts down under

University of Melbourne brings GreenTouch efforts down under

New research and development centre with Alcatel-Lucent to explore, develop Greener technologies

A new research centre at the University of Melbourne aims to make the internet and telecommunications a Greener place by exploring and developing improved fundamental technologies.

The Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET), established by the university in partnership with Alcatel-Lucent’s research arm Bell Labs, will utilise a staff of 22 to research and develop more energy efficient technologies in telecommunications and networking over three years.

"Today, telecommunications networks in Australia use about one percent of our energy supply and with increasing demands for bandwidth,” Rod Tucker, an advisory member of the centre and director of the university’s Institute for a Broadband-enabled Society (IBES), said in a statement.

“This is expected to grow dramatically - unless we find ways to make our networks more efficient.”

Both partners in the centre were some of the earliest members of the GreenTouch consortium, a panel of research institutions with telecommunications vendors and operators formed to share knowledge and reduce the global consumption of internet backbone technologies by a factor of 1000 over five years. The consortium yielded its first fruit last month with the revealing of plans for advanced antennae and virtual modems.

Though the newly established centre will contribute to the consortium’s efforts, staff will undertake nine separate projects of their own volition.

Included these are explorations of areas such as Cloud computing and content distribution networks, next generation networks and the possibility of developing an energy star rating for internet services.

The centre has already committed to projects exploring the energy efficiency of wave modulation, point-to-point access networks and analogue-to-digital converters. Further projects are also planned to explore wireless networks, packet switching, and power measurements of routers.

Tucker has been a long-held proponent of a more energy efficient internet, with claims popular technologies such as Cloud computing could in effect be less Green than on-site data centres.

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