The Senate is tackling the environmental footprint of digital technology with a bill tabled on Tuesday, October 12, which aims in particular to regulate the practices of the French but also the activities of major Internet players and terminal manufacturers.

“If nothing is done, the share of digital will drop from 2% today to 7% in 2040”, recalled during a press conference Patrick Chaize, who chairs a mission of information on the subject.

It is the logical consequence of a report made public in June last by the Commission for regional planning and sustainable development. Unlike the government, whose the first lines of the roadmap expected at the end of the year remain vague, the senators do not hesitate to consider strong and precise measures.

The polluter pays logic

Among the flagship proposals, there is the ban on the automatic launch of videos, the limitation of mobile plans with unlimited data and the obligation for operators to charge prices in relation to the quantity of data.

“It’s a bit of polluter pays logic. We consider that there is a volume of data useful to everyone. And then there is a use that is for comfort or leisure. Those people who want more have to participate financially. But this principle already exists for electricity “, justified Patrick Chaize.
It seems to us that there is a certain contradiction in advocating digital sobriety and offering unlimited data when 5G will probably explode traffic “, noted Jean-Michel Houllegatte, the co-rapporteur, with Guillaume Chevrollier, of the study.

Other proposals include extending the lifespan of digital product compliance guarantees from two to five years, or requiring manufacturers to prove that the lifespan of a terminal is not linked to a commercial strategy. There is also the idea that operators subscribe to legal commitments with Arcep.

Senators see this as an opportunity to dispassionate the debate often led by environmentalists that has emerged with 5G on the environmental footprint of digital. It remains to convince the deputies of their approach for the bill to succeed.

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