VoIP Now has an interesting read about Voice over IP (VoIP) implementations and whether or not they’re a “greener” solution than traditional PBX/POTS systems (http://www.voipnow.org/2008/08/why-voip-needs-to-go-green.html).
This site focuses on what end-users and residences can do to improve their lifestyle while reducing their impact on the environment, VoIP Now focuses more on business deployments of VoIP, but the information is still a good read.
As far as end-users are concerned, here are my Green VoIP Tips:
- Get an unlocked ATA (analog telephone adaptor): There’s nothing worse than going with one VoIP solution (Comcast Digital Voice, for example), then deciding to switch to another VoIP provider (like Vonage) and have to buy new hardware in the process. VoIP is based on standards, so a standards-based ATA should be able to connect to any VoIP provider (as long as they provide you with the settings to configure your own ATA. The Linksys SPA-2102 is what I’m running. It’s small, relatively inexpensive, and works with almost any VoIP provider you can throw at it.
- Get a green UPS: Everyone running a VoIP setup needs to have their Internet bridge (cable “modem,” etc.), router, and VoIP ATA plugged into a UPS (aka: Battery Backup). This will not only prolong the life of your investment, but will keep your phone working in the event of a power-outage. But don’t invest in any old UPS, use an old one if you’ve got one, and if you need to buy one, get one that’s power efficient.
- Think Off-Grid: Even though you’ll probably be doing this at home, this is the perfect opportunity for you to set up a small power generating setup with a solar panel and/or residential wind-turbine. Try and produce more power than you consume. (I plan on blogging about this at a later date.)
Let me know about your adventures in VoIP!