This will be the first carbon footprint study of the internet's backbone — the undersea cable systems that make global digital culture possible.
Media, Culture, and Communication Professor Nicole Starosielski is part of an international team of engineers, network operators, scientists, lawyers, and humanities and social science researchers who will study the fiber-optic subsea cable network as a way to answer What is the carbon footprint of the Internet? What is digital media's environmental impact?
With a $200,000 "Greening the Internet" grant from the Internet Society Foundation, the team will track carbon emissions at an industry-wide scale, an effort that will span all six continents that subsea cables connect.
"By documenting best practices from around the world, we will be able offer recommendations to make the internet more environmentally friendly," says Starosielski.