5G is antisocial
Or so I heard. For at least five reasons.
I just saw someone stating, in an online forum, that “5G has a fundamentally anti-social agenda and undermines good Internet policy in several ways”. When I and others asked “Can you explain what 5G has to do with social policy?”, others stepped in with the answers below. Remember them the next time somebody tries to “sell” 5G to you.
Question: Can you explain what 5G has to do with social policy?
Answer 1: It has anti-neutrality built in. It attempts to reshape cloud computing to be controlled by telcos, and the telcos are portraying it as a “race” to build something of strategic importance. It is a grab for subsidies, right on the heels of telcos having found to have pocketed subsidies intended to provide coverage in rural communities.
Answer 2: It claws value back from our apps and brings back scarcity and the busy signal.
Answer 3: First, the telcos and the cloud companies behind the service want us to put more and more in the cloud. They promise convenience (which may be true), but at the cost of locking us in, selling more of their services to us, and losing privacy. Second, if you think people are already addicted to mobile devices and spend too much time on them… well, just wait till they get 5G. [Besides], 5G locks in and doubles down on the “digital divide”, because it’s economically feasible only in affluent, densely populated areas.
Answer 4: 5G is about (among other things):
- Slicing, that is taking capacity off the table so it isn’t available as Internet. Also known as fast lanes
- [billable services…] only for the rich who can fill the coffers of telecom.
Answer 5: Recommended further reading on this, and other 5G issues strictly related with this:
- A 5G future by M. Loukides
- Someone recommended a 5G explainer at 5GGui.de
- * [Bruce Schneier’s critiques of 5G security, which I already synthesized here, a couple of weeks ago
Image sources, and even more further reading: