Léonore Moncond’huy, the “green” mayor of Poitiers, is one of 68 elected ecologists and leftists who signed the platform this weekend in the Sunday Journal. A forum to ask for a moratorium on the deployment of 5G planned by the end of 2020 in France. 5G is supposed to be 4G better: faster, more responsive smartphones and connected devices. Ultraconnectivity supposed to boost the efficiency of telemedicine and economic development! But in Poitiers, as in other cities in France, there are concerns about the impact on human health and the environment. Alexandra Besnard, is elected in charge of “responsible digital” at the town hall of Poitiers. She says it: her team is not against 5G, but she wants to know the effects before its installation, and she also wants there to be a real citizen debate around the question, because it is not only ‘a technical question is a political question, she explains.
Towards a citizen jury in Poitiers
In Poitiers, the team in place therefore intends to propose to the next municipal council at the end of September the constitution of a citizen jury. If the proposal is adopted, the group will be formed: 10 to 15 people who would be drawn by lot, to be trained by specialists on what 5G means in terms of social justice and the health environment. In this training, there will be elements to charge and excuse, so that the jury constitutes an informed opinion. That he can then give a political orientation, and return his conclusions to the team in place. Directions that will then be debated in city council.
Avoiding the city / countryside digital divide
By calling for this moratorium, the elected officials who signed the platform wish to await the report from ANSES (National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety) on the impact on human health before launching the deployment. A deployment which, if it is done in haste and thoughtlessly, risks accentuating the digital divide, according to Alexandra Besnard. The elected Pictave responsible for digital technology indeed specifies that 5G will be deployed as a priority in cities. However, not all of the countryside is covered by fiber and 4G.
“We prefer that the territory be 100% covered by fiber and 4G before launching an expensive deployment of 5G, the effects of which on the environment and on human health are not yet known”
What model of society for tomorrow?
According to the elected Poitevine, 5G is presented as something that will help economic development, telehealth.
“Something that will further improve bandwidth and help download data 10 times faster, but is that really where we want to go?
This is also what we are questioning in this forum “, she concludes before relying on figures. Between 2015 and 2019, the launch of 4G made it possible to multiply by ten the collection of mobile data from a person, which led to overconsumption of internet speed and electricity. In addition, adds the elected Poitou, it is estimated that 4.7% of greenhouse gases are generated by digital technology, ranging from the construction of computers, smartphones to Internet broadcasting. It is more important, according to her, than the production generated by aviation.