HOW WOULD BUILDING OUR OWN WIRED FIBER NETWORK LIMIT WIRELESS 5G?
The Short Answer – Affordable, community-owned hardwired Internet combined with the growing public knowledge of the risks associated with wireless networks will attract consumers to wired fiber, not wireless 5G. By prioritizing community-owned fiber over telecom-controlled wireless 5G we are creating a paradigm shift. We are offering amazing opportunities for economic regeneration and for policies that are based on the public good.
The Long Answer…
Private VS Public
A community-built and operated network will be competing with private telecoms operating in a particular service area. However, wired and wireless internet are not competitors – they are complementary. Wireless is not a substitute for wired.
Wireless is laden with risk, technically limiting, undependable, energy intensive, relatively inefficient, and presents important public health risks. The only thing it offers that wired connections can’t is mobility.
If a community provides low cost, high-speed wired-to-the-premise fiber service, the consumer will have the option to use it, reserving wireless for where and when they need it. Of course, consumers may choose to subscribe to any internet or cellular provider they like. But in terms of speed, safety, privacy, and cost it makes the most sense to use the locally-owned and affordably-priced local fiber network when at work, home, or school, limiting reliance on expensive cellular data plans.
Big Telecom has the market power to limit service and data speeds, maintain artificial scarcity and high prices, and to exercise political power to limit competition from new entrants, private or public.
In Canada, big telecom companies are required to open their fiber cables to smaller competitors who want to offer broadband services to consumers, as long as these small ISPs pay “rent” for moving their data through this fiber and create their own connection points to neighbourhoods. Community-owned fiber networks are not obligated to share their fiber, although some governments invest in fiber infrastructure, then open it up for private companies to compete as your ISP. If you choose to rent your fiber to big telecom, be certain to stipulate that no wireless equipment may be connected to your network.
Less Profit Means Less Incentive to Build Wireless 5G
Private telecoms will keep doing business where you live, but they may be less inclined to invest in the fiber needed as a backbone for wireless 5G when there is already a community-owned fiber network established that they cannot control or monopolize. Private industry exists to generate profit. Only government or a community-owned cooperative will build and regulate a wired network in the public interest.
Knowledge is Purchasing Power
The public interest lies in the establishment of stable long-term physical telecommunications infrastructure, not in the ephemeral latest wireless application or generation. As awareness of the health and environmental effects of wireless networks grow, there will be a market-driven shift to reliance on wired networks.
A thriving community fiber movement universally could put wireline services back on a par with wireless and put wireless in its proper place – as a convenience for things that move.