Plans for JT data centre to help cut carbon emissions

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JT is in discussion with two national companies in the television industry which could help Jersey to meet its carbon neutral target, the telecoms firm’s chief executive has said.

Graeme Millar, chief executive of JT (28934219)

Graeme Millar said that the company was intending to bring in technology which could play a major part in helping the Island to reach its 2030 environmental target by shifting consumer electronics from the home to data centres.

‘People won’t have Sky boxes, DVD players, Playstations and Xboxes in their homes. When Sky upgrades its viewing experience, instead of 30,000 Islanders having to throw away 30,000 boxes and ship new ones in from Taiwan and connect them all up, burning all the standby power, it’ll be a piece of software in a JT data centre being changed just like that to get a new experience.

‘And they won’t have had to spend £200 or £300 or call out a satellite tv engineer, and we’ll be able to get rid of all the satellite dishes and television aerials that pollute the visual environment because we won’t need them any more. This is where we are going,’ Mr Millar said.

At the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, JT had to cancel two meetings with the pair of national companies who they had begun to talk to about an approach which, Mr Millar said, could play a major part in Jersey’s decarbonisation strategy.

‘The world has woken up to the climate emergency and I would say that the big thing in the next ten years is supporting the Island’s sustainability agenda. One of the key ways it will be enabled is by building on the connectivity of the fibre network. The politicians, I believe, have voted quite correctly to have Jersey carbon-free by 2030 – an incredibly tight timescale but I believe it’s possible,’ he said.

In the week that the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority announced an inquiry into the service outage which occurred on 12 July, Mr Millar reiterated his apology to customers and provided further detail of the circumstances leading to the six-hour loss of functionality.

He said that the industry as a whole was now reviewing networks in the light of the unforeseen problem which JT had experienced, with the software which ran one of the clocks in its network.

‘That’s why ultimately I welcome the investigation of the JCRA because, of course, I hope they will check our homework but if we’ve made a mistake I absolutely want to know because I want to get it right. But an independent regulatory independent inquiry will also carry more force so that no one else crashes their network in the way we’ve crashed ours,’ he said.

lSaturday Interview: Pages 10 and 11.

Rod McLoughlin

By Rod McLoughlin

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