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Wireless Networks Cut Carbon (And Costs)

Cheaper wireless networks, with wired-like performance, can reduce your carbon footprint  – and pay for themselves

IT budgets have been capped or cut, and demands on IT infrastructure and organisations are increasing, but luckily opporunities to save money have never been greater. Right-sizing, for example, can systematically review network infrastructure to match actual user needs. Even better, cutting costs can actually help save the planet, reducing your carbon footprint and improving environmental sustainability.

A fortunate convergence of technology and economics, at a time when organisations are under pressure to reduce costs, is driving organisations to re-appraise their traditional overbuilt wired networks, and consider cheaper to build and maintain wireless networks.

Modern wireless networks now provide wired-like performance and reliability for users, but at between a third and half the cost of an equivalent wired network. Analysts see a similar picture; in its report It’s the Economy, Stupid: Yankee Group’s 2009 Predictions, Yankee Group advise; “CIOs should break the status quo and use this upgrade cycle as an opportunity to build networks with wireless as the primary technology.”

Any IT organisation under pressure to be more efficient, or more environmentally friendly, can undertake a simple three step process to determine whether it can benefit from network right-sizing:

1. Review performance
Compare your existing wired and wireless networks with the client devices employees use, and the applications they access

Despite the availability of 100 Mbps or even 1 Gbps to the desktop, the reality is that only a few users in an organisation will use more than the 5-10 Mbps needed by ‘normal’ office applications. With “more than enough bandwidth” always available, employees actually value mobility and ease of connectivity far more than the 90-95 Mbit/s of unused bandwidth.