No – for once I am not sounding off about the dangers of wireless (wifi) communication – instead I am directing you to a paper published by the National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy, a non-profit based in Washington, D.C. ‘whose mission is to reconcile legal and scientific concerns in the formulation of intelligent, safe and sensible public policy’.
It has been written by Timothy Schoechle, a communications technology expert at Colorado State University working on cyber-security, privacy and innovative electricity management. And his argument is that America, in particular, is poorly served by wireless communication. The infrastructure for wired communication is all in place and would provide a very much better, safer, more efficient, cheaper and more reliable communication network than wireless ever can.
As Frank Clegg, a past president of Microsoft Canada says in his foreword:
Buried across North America are large networks of copper wire and state-of-the-art optical fiber that provide the bedrock for a health-safe national communication system of the future. For too long we have been misled, turned astray by corporate propaganda, by compromised politicians and by our own technical ignorance into accepting inferior, problem-ridden and expensive wireless systems. Importantly, wireless systems also have negative economies for speed, such that adding speed becomes progressively more expensive, which then requires more spectrum and cell sites….
Timothy Schoechle’s introduction to the report asserts that ‘first and foremost, the public needs publicly-owned and controlled wired infrastructure that is inherently more future-proof, more reliable, more sustainable, more energy efficient, safer, and more essential to many other services.
Wireless networks and services, compared to wired access, are inherently more complex, more costly, more unstable (subject to frequent revision and “upgrades”), and more constrained in what they can deliver.’
Read on….. Or you can listen to Timothy Schoechle speaking about the paper at the Commonwealth Club last month.
The weekend newspapers are reporting that Dame Sallie Davies, the UK’s chief medical officer, is advising that everyone should turn off their computers, smart phones and all other devices before they go to bed. It is not entirely clear whether she is worried about the light pollution that they cause or the radiation pollution – but let us not worry about why she wants them turned off. The advice is more than welcome and let us hope that people will actually just turn them off!