Promising Best Practices to Achieve Positive Environmental and Economic Benefits through
Accelerated Broadband Deployment and Adoption
Background: The California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) engaged Valley Vision to research the potential of broadband as a “green strategy” to reduce impacts on the environment. Valley Vision conducted an assessment of research that quantifies GHG emission reductions due to broadband driven applications. The purpose was to determine the feasibility of developing a protocol that could enable the monetization of emission reductions for use in a carbon trading system. To meet environmental integrity requirements, eligible reduction credits must be independently verified as surplus, permanent, quantifiable, and enforceable in a cost-effective process.
The project included a literature review, supplemented with interviews and consultations with subject-area experts, and focused on the following broadband-driven applications: telecommuting and telework; intelligent transportation systems; telehealth and telemedicine; smart buildings; electric vehicles; efficient energy use; e-materialization and e-commerce; and e-learning.
While the research process revealed a potential but lengthy path for developing a protocol, it also uncovered many areas and promising best practices that, if promoted, should help meet important policy goals and provide numerous co-benefits. This briefing document focuses on a subset of the research areas that were identified to offer the best immediate opportunity for high-level impact: transportation, health and energy. It highlights recommended strategies and promising best practices to achieve positive environmental, economic, and health impacts and co-benefits from reductions in air pollution and GHG emissions through accelerated broadband deployment and adoption in these three areas.