What is the goal?

Identify best practices where applications using broadband (high-speed access to the Internet) helps achieve environmental and economic goals.

Why is this important?

The State of California has set ambitious environmental goals.  Applications such as video-conferencing with doctors, online classes, managing water or energy usage remotely and other examples have the opportunity to reduce pollution – but these all need sufficient access to broadband and fast speeds.

What is Valley Vision doing about it?

Valley Vision completed a research project to determine the pollution and waste-avoiding benefits of broadband.  The California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) contracted with Valley Vision to uncover the ways that remote health care, teleworking, digital learning, “smart” utility grids and other applications offer “green” benefits to the environment.  Reducing the amount of vehicle miles driven, or minimizing land use and real estate space requirements due to digital infrastructure, has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower costs.


Valley Vision conducted a worldwide literature review and interviews with experts in the Fall of 2011.  Building on the findings in the review, Valley Vision developed a policy brief and conducted outreach in the Spring of 2012.  In 2014, the project was refreshed with an updated research summary, a new communications piece to complement the 2011 policy brief, and additional outreach to policy makers conducted.



  • Compiled a summary of the “state of research” regarding broadband-driven applications (such as telemedicine, working remotely, e-commerce, etc.) and their impact on pollution.

  • Developed a policy brief outlining the best practices for greenhouse gas emission reductions associated with broadband-driven applications.

  • Increased the awareness and understanding of broadband as a green strategy with State and local policy organizations.

  • Cultivated additional allies and advocates for accelerated broadband deployment and use.

  • Provided recommendations for “green” related questions for a statewide broadband survey.


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