healthy telecom

The healthy telecom industrial strategy focuses on drastic reductions in the waste of time, energy, materials and confusion in the design and integration of telecommunications. It applies Natural Capitalism and Natural Step and other methodologies - ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 and SA 8000 in particular. Like those it implies accounting reform in the form of ISO 19011 and GAAP being applied to public sector action.

""It may seem odd to imagine that there are health risks and issues with telecom services such as cell phones, pagers, wired phones and the Internet. But there are. Just as there are such things as healthy buildings, cities, and transport, there is also healthy telecom. To reduce "e-waste", keep lead, arsenic, mercury, etc., out of landfills, and maximize the re-use of perfectly good equipment out of fashion in rich nations, an ideal healthy communications system must be:

0. Not directly harmful to the human body in any way that tends to reduce the implied value of a human life - no unwarranted radiation leaks, or shock risks, and not requiring an inherently unergonomic or fixed physical position to use"

Implications include avoiding visual technologies where not strictly necessary in favour of text and audio, preferring handsfree operation, reducing physical size of devices and making them more modular, preferring command verbs uniform across all user interfaces, reducingvocabulary to Simple English, simplifying diagnostic procedures especially to aid emergency preparedness - information technology, cooperatively maintained, consistently documented, with full cost accounting for harms done by equipment through its entire lifecycle - see e-waste - reflected in the green tax shift that would more heavily tax wasteful or toxic hardware.

It further proposes that standards addressing the above be "recognized in ITU, ISO 14000, ISO 9000, and ISO 8000" as appropriate. Some accounting reform might also be required - see PSAB and Capital Cost Allowance for specific policies advised.

To spread the mature industry, it proposes that "web-net-wire" skills and "some minimal English vocabulary taught only for purposes of the
'machine culture', i.e. understanding commands, diagnosing problems, and asking for help" bridge the so-called "digital divide". An elaborated example is drawn from work in social ecology of wireless technology that to illustrate how low ecological impact and community service can be combined in the healthy telecom mindset:

"Telephones are use in concert with technologies such as community and commercial radio for call-in programs. In some countries radio stations receive calls by phone as well as letters and walk-in requests for Internet information. In a Sri Lankan project in Kotomale the station searches for the information, translates the results into Singalese, and broadcasts the answer to the listeners." This can also be extended to faxes. In Mali, for instance, USAID is linking up community radio stations, some of which answer listener web queries, with wireless IP, so that all stations can do it.

This suggests that healthy telecom may have a digital backbone to which a high standard of reliability and authentication can be applied, but use an analog delivery mechanism, which is necessarily authenticated by much more intuitive means: familiarity of voices, directionality of signal, and etc.. This is certainly at least a medium term solution that will not breed a culture of total rural dependence on mechanisms defined and run entirely by cities - since" at least some of the "edge technology" "can be mastered and used by rural people themselves.

The approach as a whole is likened to public roads and related development of a mature traffic signal infrastructure, to wit:

"The development of an effective public road infrastructure required standardized wheel sizes, turn ratios, grades and paving. The development of an effective public education infrastructure required standardized language and curricula and teacher training and testing standards, at the very least when exiting secondary school. The development of an effective global digital communciation system is likewise absolutely dependent on standardizing some terms, parts, and contracts."

See healthy telecom - defined at hubley.org. See hubley.org (Canadian) urban mandate recommendations for the context of a recent presentation to Minister of State (Communites and Infrastructure) John Godfrey on the above.

This is a refer link - it exists to provide an external link without sending Living Platform users offsite - so that among other things the interest in the concept is monitored.