Is Wireless Access Being Oversold?

With a tsunami of cell tower infrastructure planned for wireless telecommunications expansion, including 5G and driverless cars, there has been little discussion of the access, reliability, privacy, health and environmental benefits of maintaining and expanding our current sophisticated wired communications system. This novel and important program will feature the costs and benefits of our landlines intermixed with other innovative wired and cable systems.

The talk on Feb 5, 2018, at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, features among others,  Timothy Schoechle, PhD, author of Re-Inventing Wires: The Future of Landlines and Networks, from the National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy in Washington D.C.  Re-Inventing Wires

His 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. “

The Internet is a Defining Technology of Our Society

Dr. Schoechle is a communications technology expert, faculty member of Colorado State University-Global Campus where he develops graduate and undergraduate courses on cyber-security and in addition is Principal Investigator for a research grant to demonstrate innovative electricity management, solar, and control system technologies.  He states, “The Internet has become one of the defining technologies
of our society. It is our central medium for commerce and communication—but more importantly—for our public discourse, engagement, and democratic governance. However, it has been hijacked by the commercial motivations that have come to re-define and constrain the availability, quality, content, and media of high-speed access in the United States.”

In the report, Dr. Schoechle asks: Why has the Internet been growing in an inefficient, insufficient, and unsustainable direction? Is wireless access being oversold? Why are existing copper phone lines being abandoned when current protocols allow them to deliver data at gigabit speed?

From Deregulation to Reconsolidating of Communications 

He shows how deregulation led to the “reconsolidation of communications monopoly providers dominated by a triopoly that has come to be more limiting and detrimental than the original AT&T Bell System monopoly that was broken up in the mid- 1980s.3 This historical perspective shows why the wires are inescapably a public utility.” The report also describes how copper phone pair, DSL, cable, Ethernet, and optical fiber combinations can have advanced performance and much higher energy efficiency than wireless systems.

Speakers

The speakers will discuss the history of landlines, emerging technologies and their role in the future of landlines as well as public policy choices and opportunities to maintain privacy, security and broad communication access.

Panelists include:

Timothy Schoechle, Ph.D.

Senior Research Fellow, National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy

Martin Pall, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences, Washington State University

Jim Turner, Esq.

Partner, Swankin & Turner

Duncan Campbell, Esq.

Radio Host, “Living Dialogues

Tickets are $7-$20 through Eventbrite at Reinventing Wires Tickets Eventbrite

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/reinventing-wires-the-future-of-landlines-and-networks-tickets-39102052291