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Writing in a blog post on the Reuters website, Katie Fehrenbacher posits that the salvation of the planet will be fuelled by the internet engendering a process of “dematerialization”.

This is the phenomenon by which the need to manufacture products – books, for instance - is eliminated by digital goods. Ms Fehrenbacher predicts that this will result in less of the planet’s resources being used.

Fibre optic broadband

And fast fibre optic broadband’s part in this? Well for dematerialization to reach critical mass speedy connections are required, she claims. Then and only then will broadband be sufficiently integrated into people’s lives for the volume of physical goods produced to be shrink significantly.

As for us, we’re sure that it could help the planet some. But - chiefly because there are only a small amount of goods that have the potential to be dematerialized - we’re not 100 per cent sure it’s quite the silver bullet our eco-friendly chum is touting it as.

But what do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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