eco Alliance on the Omicron Wave: We Can Rely on High-Performance Digital Infrastructures

The Omicron wave is set to peak: In Germany, the incidence nationwide is higher than ever before. This makes the reliance of society and the economy on high-performance digital infrastructures even more important in the here and now. Such a reliance is the precise factor that the Alliance for the Strengthening of Digital Infrastructures in Germany, founded under the umbrella of the eco Association, is campaigning for in the political and public spheres.

Dr BĂ©la Waldhauser, Spokesperson for the eco Alliance, has the following to say:

“The positive effect of digitalisation on society and the economy is also blatantly obvious during this Omicron wave. Digital infrastructures keep things running and thus defy even highly contagious virus variants. While in two years of the pandemic we have experienced repeated shortages of everything – from toilet paper to vaccines and Covid tests – the Internet is a reliable resource that can significantly improve our standard of living. We need to bear this in mind, even after the pandemic is over.”

Recently, DE-CIX, the world’s largest Internet Exchange operator based in Frankfurt and a member of the eco Alliance, reported a rise in data traffic in 2021 of around 20 percent compared to the previous year.

Work from home and digital conferences helping to meet climate goals

Waldhauser expects that, in the coming weeks, companies and government institutions in Germany will again increasingly rely on work from home as well as digital education, and will once again shift analogue events or conferences to Internet-based video formats.

Waldhauser: “I am confident that we will also cope well with another surge in data traffic. In relying more heavily on digital applications and technologies, we will not only be combatting the virus, but also ensuring more sustainability.”

To take an example: A Greenpeace study shows that, in Germany, at least 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 are saved per year and commuting is reduced by about 10.9 billion passenger kilometres if employees work from home one day a week – thanks to digital technologies and applications. According to the University of Freiburg, digital video conferences save up to 99.5 percent CO2 compared to standard events.

Bela Waldhauser