BERLIN -- The days when every piece of home communications equipment comes with its own special power adapter could be numbered.
The U.N. telecoms agency says it has taken a step toward establishing a universal standard for power adapters used by TV set-top boxes, Internet modems and fixed-line telephones.
The Geneva-based International Telecommunication Union said Thursday a standard adapter would allow manufacturers to ship new devices without a separate power supply. Consumers could also keep the power supply when throwing out obsolete equipment, cutting the amount of electronic waste worldwide by hundreds of thousands of tons of each year.
ITU says the new standard won't be compulsory. But the agency says the recent experience of creating a standard for mobile phone power supplies showed most manufacturers supported the idea.