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Report on Best Practices in Subsea Telecommunications Cable Sustainability

Reduction of electricity consumption in technological environments is a challenge that deserves to be addressed, given the economic and environmental benefits it provides.

The global demands for data transmission, connectivity and processing capacity continue to grow exponentially, facilitating the operation and sustainability of almost any activity we can imagine.

In this context, Energy Efficiency solutions make it possible to decouple the growth curve of the transmission capacities demanded, with respect to the evolution of the energy consumption that they represent: the aim is to grow more and consume less.

Fig. 1: IOP Science Journal: “Data center growth in the US: decoupling the demand for services from electricity use”.

Efficiency in the operations of Data Centers and Telecommunications Networks is achieved with design criteria and improvements, through high and low tech solutions, and also with the application of “Best Practices”.

And what are the “Best Practices” that allow the Submarine Telecommunications industry to be more sustainable? In this specific field, the SubOptic Foundation, since its creation in 2021 and with a projection of several years ahead, has launched different lines of research, documentation and promotion of sustainability in the sector.

Fig. 2: Sustainable Subsea Networks Map –

On this occasion, we are pleased to share the release of the “Report on Best Practices in Subsea Telecommunications Cable Sustainability”. It is one of the results of the “Sustainable Subsea Networks” initiative, in which a broad group of professionals from academia and industry have worked collaboratively.  This working group is involved in the entire range of activities for the deployment and operation of subsea networks.

From R&G Telecomm Group we have contributed to the preparation of this exhaustive report, focusing on optimizations in Cable Landing Stations. This document also covers general considerations in relation to CO2 emissions in the sector, applicable standards, sustainability in the design and manufacture of all network components, from deployment to post-life transformation, and technologies for measuring critical environmental variables, among other topics.

Learn more about our Energy Efficiency and Sustainability services to keep connecting the world with the perspective of a bright future.

About The SubOptic Foundation

Established early in 2021 as the charitable arm of the SubOptic Association, focuses its efforts on education & research. The Foundation’s educational programs are designed to support the development of the future subsea workforce. The Foundation’s research programs are centered in areas where broad research and cooperative data-sharing would benefit the industry as a whole, including sustainability and resilience. The Foundation’s success in all of its programs is achieved through collaboration amongst SubOptic member volunteers from an array of companies who serve the submarine cable industry. Since its inception, the Foundation has hosted ten local language symposia across the globe, each of which introduced university and maritime academy students to the technology and business of submarine cables. The Foundation’s initial research (2022-2023) into the submarine cable industry’s sustainability practices is continuing in 2024-2025 with the extension of a grant from the Internet Society Foundation. The Internet Society Foundation also recently awarded the Foundation a grant to explore the resilience of submarine cable networks.

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