Is Paris in too much of a rush on 5G?

The auction for 5G frequencies began on Tuesday in France, rekindling the debate about the opportunities and risks of this new generation of mobile communication technology. The Greens demanded that the expansion of 5G be put on hold for the time being, which President Macron rejected with harsh words. Commentators advise against a hasty approach.

Open/close all quotes
Le Monde (FR) /

Legitimate questions must be answered

The tone of the debate about 5G is wrong, says Le Monde:

“In the end, those who reject this innovation a priori will fall in line with those who consider the debate a waste of time because the advantages of the technology are so obvious to everyone. In both cases, we end up with a sterile 'keep moving, there's nothing to see!' On the contrary, it is legitimate to question the economic, ecological and security impacts of 5G. ... Transport, the city of the future, production methods: all these areas may see substantial changes thanks to 5G. With what environmental impact? What is the benefit of progress for people who question their dependence on new technologies? What guarantees are there regarding data privacy? These questions must be answered.”

L'Obs (FR) /

It's all happening too fast

We think progress has become spooky, explains L'Obs:

“Innovation has seldom aroused such passion. Technological progress used to mean growth, and growth prosperity. This dogma was widespread both in the leftist and the rightist political camps: these certitudes have collapsed in light of the climate crisis. ... The world has become aware that our economic model is leading us into an impasse by replacing reflection with reflexes, by lulling us with 'technological bluffing', as [philosopher] Jacques Ellul has decried. ... The reason why 5G has provoked so many reactions is that this technology embodies the evil that is paralysing us in light of climate change. It represents a new acceleration at a time when we must reflect on each and every one of our decisions.”