As a science and technology aficionado who believes in using science to promote human health and prosperity, I was startled to find myself classified as a Luddite by Frontier Centre research associate Paz Gomez in her article "Luddites Stand in the Way of 5G Prosperity: Fears Overblown, Ignore Benefits of Communications Connectivity" published on July 29, 2020.
The one thing I can agree with Ms. Gomez on is that faster communications would provide many benefits to humankind. However, choices have to be made about how to deliver faster communications to households, offices, farms and manufacturing buildings. Not all choices are good ones. And you can't do a proper cost/benefit analysis without thoroughly exploring all of the costs.
The expression "5G" refers to the fifth generation of wireless technology, which will carry more data, at higher speeds, than previous cellular networks. But wireless 5G is not the only game in town when it comes to delivering high-speed internet. It faces stiff competition from fibre optic systems.
Fibre optic cables consist of extremely thin interior strands of glass or plastic which carry signals in the form of light, surrounded by multiple layers of cladding, coating and jacketing which prevent the light signals from escaping.