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Power-over-Ethernet: The Sustainable Answer to Bandwidth Demands

by Teddi Strassburger on November 21, 2022


In this blog post from Superior Essex, they talk about the need to increase bandwidth and how to do that sustainably through Power-over-Ethernet networks built on cables from their PowerWise line. Read on to learn more!

We all need bandwidth. Most of us use video conferencing while sending emails and browsing the internet for information while at work. Then, we go home to stream movies and load up our online shopping carts as we send pictures on social media. All this uses tons of data that needs to be stored somewhere.

The connected world consumed 79 zettabytes of data in 2021. That’s expected to reach 180 zettabytes across 5.2 billion users by 2025 — a low estimate! This ever-increasing bandwidth demand also means an exponential increase in electricity usage. Even when buildings aren’t fully occupied or utilized, they use a lot of energy.

When the occupancy of office buildings plummeted starting February 2020, the energy consumption of office sites fell only 14%, according to Michael Tobias of NY Engineers. This decrease didn’t match the decrease in building occupancy, resulting in a lot of wasted energy as these offices sat unused for months. This is partly due to the inefficient communications systems controlling building operations.

Low Voltage Networks for High-Demand Networks

“The answer to these bandwidth demands is extra-low voltage communications networks connected by Power-over-Ethernet cables,” describes Paul Weintraub, head of international business for Superior Essex Communications. “With PoE, your ICT devices and network operate on a better electrical system.”

PoE systems work based upon the flow of energy supplied from a power-sourcing equipment endpoint, through category 5e, 6, and 6A cables, and into a powered device. This energy flow doesn't hinder the delivery of bidirectional Ethernet data over the same conductors. Additionally, system convergence (where all devices on the network are controlled at a central point) through PoE saves time and money. PoE-converged networks funnel all the devices’ data and power into one bucket, instead of different silos.

“When you’re able to tie everything into one bundle, instead of many different silos, you’re going to have a more efficient network and an easier time managing it,” says Weintraub.

Reducing the Impact of the Built Environment

“Nearly 80% of the buildings that will exist in 2050 already exist,” proclaims Weintraub. That perspective frames why responsible building methods are vital to new builds. But for the buildings already erected, it’s imperative to find ways to make them more sustainable as they age.

PoE cables enable smart buildings with automation, responsivity, and expansiveness. As the number of smart devices grows year over year, your building’s network will need to be a connected holistic web, not separate tracks for each unit. Doing so will reduce your building’s energy consumption and carbon emissions.

“When we look at carbon neutral or zero carbon goals by 2050, there are intermediate milestones we need to hit by 2030,” explains Annie Bevan, Global Head of Sustainability for Superior Essex Communications. “Building efficiency and materials selection can help us reach those goals.”

Some PoE cables, like the PowerWise family of cables from Superior Essex Communications, can deliver sustainability benefits above energy consumption. These products come with transparency certifications and are made of materials that are less harmful to the building occupants and surrounding environment.

"When you're considering selection communications cable, look for manufacturers who invest in third-party certification," says Bevan. “Cables that have third-party certifications that prove they've reduced their environmental impacts, are even better. These products help project teams achieve green building certifications and other ESG goals."

Preferring cabling products that hold transparency certifications, are made of better-for-you materials, and operate on low-voltage electrical systems, sets you up to meet carbon-neutral building goals. PoE cables reduce electricity waste, increase device efficiency, and bolster high-performing networks, making them the best choice for ICT networks of the future.

Topics: Superior Essex power over ethernet sustainability spsx powerwise

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