HGI puts saving energy on the agenda

At its quarterly meeting in Florence last week, the Home Gateway Initiative (HGI) focused on saving energy around the home gateway.

Paolo Pastorino, Chief Technology Officer at the HGI, said, "We have agreed to draw up a specification document by the end of the year that will include usage cases. We will explore which servers need to be always active, how fast and easy it is to activate the home gateway from being on low power standby and so on. We need to understand how to reduce energy without impacting services."

He added, "We concentrate on the home gateway, but that also involves servers, devices and networks too and we need a consistent approach to conserving energy across them. All of our working groups will be involved and ultimately our specifications will be included in operators' procurement requirements."

The plan is for the HGI to send contributions to the EU Code of Conduct on Energy Consumption of Broadband Equipment. This sets out the basic principles of energy conservation to be followed by all parties involved in broadband equipment operating in the European Community.

It will also contribute to work on energy consumption that is being undertaken by other organisations including the ITU-T and ETSI (TISPAN and AT-TM).

Energy saving is certainly a very hot button. If the HGI can progress this rapidly and provide valuable input, it could be the organisation's big chance to acquire more clout globally.

The HGI was set up by European telcos in 2004 to boost the take-up of services through the home gateway. Now two-thirds of the HGI are vendors and non-European operators remain thin on the ground. None of the US's big carriers are members and only NTT, Telstra and KDDI's R&D arm represent the Asia-Pacific region.