Edge Intelligence and digital sustainability

Digital technologies are everywhere. Our devices, ever more sophisticated and better connected, allow us to watch what we want, when we want, wherever we want. As this demand for online content increases, digital sustainability strategies have become a priority for creators and broadcasters. The internet is now integral to our daily lives, work and leisure and as such constitutes a significant source of pollution, accounting for 2%-4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, similar to the aviation industry. As such, green content delivery strategies go a long way in helping to mitigate said impact. By implementing energy-efficient technologies, optimizing data transfer and reducing the carbon footprint of digital services, content creators and broadcasters can contribute to a more sustainable future, both for their own business and the planet. 

System73’s Edge Intelligence content delivery solution can help content creators and broadcasters move closer to their sustainability goals. In leveraging peer to peer (P2P) technology and creating a centrally orchestrated broadcast tree for live content delivery, Edge Intelligence bypasses the need to rely exclusively on traditional CDNs and edge servers. This article explores the environmental impact video streaming can have in today’s modern and hyper-connected world, and how our Edge Intelligence solution can help content creators and providers achieve a more sustainable content delivery strategy. 

The environmental impact of video streaming

CDNs play a crucial role in the environmental impact of video streaming, which involves how much electricity is consumed by the running of data centers, data transmission and user devices. As such, the carbon footprint created by video streaming is closely tied to how this electricity is generated, which, as in many industries, places a sharp focus on the need for greater investment in renewable energy sources. According to the 2021 Carbon Trust report, one hour of video streaming emits 50-60g of CO2, a fraction of that emitted by petrol vehicles. However, the increasing use of streaming services and the urgency of the climate crisis calls desperately for further action in the content creation and broadcasting sector. The good news is that many companies are increasingly prioritizing sustainability, with many OTT and TV broadcasting services favoring B2B solutions and partners that advocate for a more sustainable future. By using resources more efficiently during peak streaming times, combined with analytics to better understand and reduce emissions, content providers can start to minimize their carbon footprint. 

Reducing viewers’ carbon footprint

System73’s content delivery solutions, such as Edge Delivery and Edge Intelligence, not only help enhance content delivery speeds and viewers’ quality of experience (QoE), they also help to reduce the carbon footprint of video-on-demand (VoD) and live streaming services. By optimizing content delivery processes, minimizing server load, and employing energy-efficient infrastructures such as our centralized broadcast tree (leveraging peer-to-peer technology), these solutions significantly cut down on carbon emissions. Reducing the distance data needs to travel, and reducing the load on CDNs by as much as 90% at times, not only enhances QoE, it also curtails electricity consumption associated with data transmission. 

For example, transmitting large images and video requires substantial electricity, both for transfer and display. While the impact might seem negligible on a small scale, when audience numbers escalate to millions of viewers, it can make a significant difference to overall emissions. Edge Intelligence simplifies content delivery by reducing the reliance on central content delivery networks (CDNs) and edge servers, thereby lowering energy use and CO2 emissions. This solution helps our customers reduce their carbon footprint and align their strategies with sustainability goals by addressing ‘Scope 3’ emissions (those produced by activities not owned or controlled by the organization itself). Ultimately, by leveraging System73’s solutions, our clients are able to contribute to a greener digital environment.

Edge Intelligence: A sustainable content delivery solutions

Edge Intelligence can help organizations align their operations with growing consumer and regulatory demands for environmentally responsible practices, ultimately making themselves more attractive partners and suppliers. Edge Intelligence, designed to deliver live and linear content at the highest quality and in the most cost-effective way, is an AI-powered solution that leverages P2P technology to create a centrally orchestrated broadcasting tree. Nurtured by proprietary data gathered by our Edge Analytics tool, Edge Intelligence employs split-second decision-making based on unprecedented visibility over the open internet to find the shortest and most economic route for live content. 

This solution ultimately optimizes the entire content delivery network by creating a centralized peer-to-peer (P2P) network, which drastically reduces the need to rely on CDN bandwidth capacity. It also helps ensure content providers meet modern streaming demands for live content while improving the end user’s quality of experience (QoE). As regards sustainability, in reducing the need to rely on physical edge servers, it significantly lowers energy consumption and minimizes the environmental impact associated with operating extensive physical infrastructures. This freedom also means Edge Intelligence is infinitely scalable and able to deliver content to viewers in traditionally hard-to-reach areas, expanding the broadcasting tree as needed based on end user streaming demand to support the largest live events around the world. 

To learn more about Edge Intelligence, and System73’s other content delivery solutions, visit www.system73.com, or speak to a member of our sales team for more specific information.