Very High Broadband

Bill St-Arnaud

Chief Research Officer, CANARIE Inc.

Carbon rewards instead of Carbon taxes

Governments around the world are wrestling with the challenge of how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The current preferred approaches are to impose “carbon” taxes and implement various forms of cap and trade or carbon offset systems. However another approach to help reduce carbon emission is to “reward” those who reduce their carbon footprint with low carbon Internet products and services. One example of providing carbon rewards is to provide homeowners with free fiber to the home or free wireless products and other Internet services such as eBooks and eMovies if they agree to pay an extra couple of pennies per kilowatt of electricity or cubic meter of gas on their energy bill. With carbon rewards the consumer is encouraged to reduce their energy consumption with the extra premium on their energy consumption being an additional incentive for them to do so. Most importantly they are not penalized in the use of these products and services if they successfully reduce their carbon footprint. In fact, as a result of carbon rewards, the consumer’s total bill for electricity, gas, and triple play may be substantially less than they are paying now. Not only does the consumer benefit, but this business model also provides new revenue opportunities for network operators, equipment manufacturers, and green “gCommerce” application providers.

Bill St. Arnaud is Chief Research Officer for CANARIE Inc. Canada’s Advanced Internet Development Organization. At CANARIE Bill St. Arnaud has been responsible for the coordination and implementation of Canada’s next generation optical Internet initiative called CA*net 4. He has also been the principal architect of the concept of Customer Owned Networks and User Controlled Lightpaths (UCLP) allow users to create their own Internet network topologies and peerings. Currently he is leading a Green IT initiative of encouraging carbon rewards rather than imposing carbon taxes to help reduce output of green house gas emissions, through the provision of free fiber to the home and other free Internet services and applications. In 2005 he also won the World Technology Summit award for Communications.