Agency 10: Communication Agency

14 min read

The Communication Agency is the tenth agency in the community. The agency facilitates inter-agency communication and provides community agencies and participants need to connect.

The agency handles inter-agency communication, internet and mobile phone connectivity, and online content management. The agency is part of the Public Administration Bureau, together with By-laws & IT Infrastructure (agency 11) and Public Relations (agency 12).

The Communication Agency requires significant capital to fund the development of infrastructure needed to deliver services to participants and agencies. The agency needs to set up its automated system, and cellphone towers, purchase cell phones and other communication equipment, and general operations.

The agency receives capital, from the Capital Bank Agency (agency 8). The agency uses these funds for operations, and to pay down payment for the loans it receives from the Community Bank Agency (agency 7) to develop or otherwise acquire the needed equipment and infrastructure.

The Communication Agency needs to pay a return on the capital invested by the Capital Bank, and repay, with interest, the loans advanced by the Community Bank Agency. The agency is therefore highly motivated to make profits from the services it provides participants to do this. The agency charges participants and agencies weekly. It uses this money to pay its obligations to the bank. From the return, the Capital Bank can pay investors – limited partners – a weekly return on their investment.

Roles of the agency

The Communication Agency performs the following roles:

  • Coordinating inter-agency communication
  • Facilitating participants’ access to communications services
  • Social media management

Coordinating inter-agency communication

Agencies, villages, and districts collaborate on a wide range of issues. They require a common, robust communication channel through which information is posted both for community entities and for participants. The channel is encrypted to protect data. The Communication Agency provides this service through an intranet that it manages. The intranet provides community agencies with a platform on which they can update each other on general information, as well as a means through which inter-entity collaboration can be planned and executed.

The intranet also provides IT support to community public servants. This ranges from emails associated with the community, help in troubleshooting, and providing means through which they can discharge their duties and collaborate with others seamlessly.

Each village, district, and agency has an online channel, usually a website or a portal within their agency’s website (in the case of villages and districts), through which it communicates its work and plans to the public. The Communication Agency liaises with agencies to ensure that the information is presented in a way effective enough to communicate with the intended audience.

Facilitating participants’ access to communication services

The Communication Agency facilitates the provision of communication services such as cell phone connectivity, internet services, and emergency communication. Providing these services requires capital-intensive equipment, including fiber-optic cable, cell phone towers, boosters, and specialized skills.

The Communication Agency controls the physical infrastructure, which it installs and maintains through contractors. In deciding whether to own or hire infrastructure, the agency considers a range of factors:

  • Nature of equipment – some equipment is capital intensive, yet risks becoming obsolete quickly due to technological advances, in some instances before breaking even. The agency hires this equipment to avoid loss and ensure high-quality services to its clients.
  • Other infrastructure is either sensitive, requiring total ownership, or unlikely to be replaced in the foreseeable future. In other instances, the equipment may be priced well in the market, giving the agency a reason to acquire such property.
  • The scale of the equipment – some equipment would only make economic sense if owned by entities serving a larger area than a community, while others only serve smaller areas/ clientele. This will inform the agency’s decision to buy or hire.
  • Some equipment may have prohibitive costs to install, such as taking fiber optic cable to communities that are far removed from others, thereby requiring the Communication Agency to do so instead of hiring these services.

 The agency also offers the services enabled by this infrastructure through contractors and charges users. Due to the enormous scale involved, and the interdependence of some communication infrastructure, the agency hires service providers who can build and operationalize the equipment. For instance, it can contract a company like Verizon to build and maintain the physical and digital infrastructure needed to provide mobile phone connectivity.

The agency offers the following services – 

  • Mobile phone network services, including voice, messaging, and voicemail. This involves setting up cell phone towers and boosters and signing up participants
  • Mobile phones, desk phones, pagers, and any other communication devices, that participants hire from the agency
  • Internet connectivity – setting up fiber optic connection, installing internet services, and signing up participants
  • Internet equipment, including routers, boosters, and other associated equipment
  • Entertainment, including streaming services
  • Roaming services
  • Reward/ loyalty programs to reward callers for using services
  • Emergency messaging and alert systems, which are deployed during disasters and smaller emergencies, connect emergency service providers with victims. The services can be used in case there is a fire, hurricane, earthquake, or similar phenomena.
  • Telecommunications relay services, which help people with hearing or speaking difficulties to communicate

As it serves participants, the Communication Agency collects enormous amounts of data. The agency uses this information to improve its and other agencies’ automated systems while respecting participants’ privacy rights. The information collected during communications is highly detailed. It can help limited partners in their marketing strategies and enable agencies, villages, and districts to align their services in a particular way, among other uses. Those who seek to use this information pay a fee, along with commitments to respect the privacy laws governing such data. The agency hires contractors who help it to manage the data.

Online content and social media management

The community understands the power of social media and the importance of having unified messaging to harness the enormous potential of social media tools. The community achieves this through the Communication Agency, which runs various social media accounts on behalf of the community. The agency hires contractors who are responsible for updating the accounts with information the agency wants to communicate. The agency also manages accounts belonging to agencies, villages, and districts, and updates them on their behalf at a fee.

Online content can be both a source of invaluable information, as well as useless, and sometimes dangerous, information. At the same time, some content is not appropriate for some age groups. These issues mean that for the community to get the most out of online content, it must moderate this content, manage access, and train both providers and users on why the measures it recommends are important. The Communication Agency works with service providers (website owners and content creators/ controllers/ editors) to ensure that the content they present to users is appropriate. They also work to implement safeguards based on age, so that minors, for instance, are not exposed to inappropriate material.

Users need to be properly equipped to interact with online content. The agency trains users, through its website, and through automated banners that appear on websites, on responsible usage of the internet, the dos and don’ts, how to harness the power of the internet, and other helpful details.

How the agency works

Background on presidencies

Every presidency in the community presidency is a four-member entity whose members represent one of the four major demographics: married men (A), married women (B), single women (C), and single men (D). However, a president serves the whole community in their role, rather than only their own demographic. Presidents’ diversity and commitment to serve all is provided for in the community bylaws and ensures that all access services without any discrimination.

These four major demographics are evenly split in ordinary society, with each group accounting for between 23 and 27% of the population, and with regular fluctuations as people’s status changes. The community appreciates that discrimination across all social categories happens based on marital status, other social categorizations notwithstanding; married men are likelier to dominate other demographics, especially single men and single women. Married women are also likelier to have better outcomes in careers and leadership than single women.

The community’s infrastructure promotes equal access to economic and social resources and opportunities. The composition of the community as a whole and those who serve it in the community public service is closely monitored to prevent numerical domination, which can lead to nepotism or unequal access.

Besides marital status, the recruitment to be a participant, and to serve in the public service carefully considers other social categorizations, to ensure racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual groups are well represented in the community as they are in the society in which a community operates. These considerations inform the constitution of the community public service. The diversity in community public service, which is provided by bylaws, is aimed at creating a community that is blind to all other considerations besides service to participants. The service is therefore designed to be free of discrimination.

Executive presidency, bureau board, and demographic presidencies

The Communication Agency is served by an executive presidency, comprised of 4 presidents from the four major demographics,[1] which handles strategy formulation and adjustment, as well as formulating and communicating operational procedures for the agency. Additionally, the presidency also facilitates the setting up of the agency’s automated system and adjusts it as necessary to better achieve its goals.

As part of the Public Administration Bureau, the executive presidency forms a bureau board with executive presidencies serving the Bylaws & IT Infrastructure and Public Relations agencies. The board acts as a check and monitoring tool for individual presidents and agencies, especially when decisions have far-reaching implications for the community.

Within the bureau board, three presidents from the same demographic form a demographic presidency. There are four such presidencies in the bureau. The demographic presidency performs an advisory role to presidencies and agencies regarding a particular demographic; it does not have operational or executive authority. that cut across the three agencies. The demographic presidency also plays an important role in the mentorship and training of new presidents.

Demographic presidency ADemographic presidency BDemographic presidency CDemographic presidency D
Executive presidency, Communication (10)10A10B10C10D
Executive presidency, Bylaws & IT Infrastructure (11)11A11B11C11D
Executive presidency, Public Relations (12)12A12B12C12D

Limited partners and branch presidencies

Limited partners and group council

A limited partner is the basic unit in the community. A limited person, usually above 18 years old, but sometimes as young as 16, has been admitted into the community and has invested $20,000 as partnership interest, for which they earn a return. This is regarded as one unit of partnership interest. Over time, a limited partner can add more units of partnership interest, as their business prospers. The more partnership interest units a limited partner has, the more the return they receive from the agency.

A dependent is a minor, or a person living with a disability, under the care of a limited partner. In some instances, a dependent may be a fit adult, who for various reasons is supported by community agencies, and assigned by contract to a limited partner.  Limited partners are responsible for any legal agreements that their dependents enter into, either with community agencies or other participants. Together, limited partners and dependents are referred to as participants.

Participants who are dependents, because they are still minors, can start a business when they reach 12 years of age. This allows them to save up and invest USD 20,000 into the community by their 18th birthday, and possibly as early as 16. Limited partners and their dependents reside in apartments (village buildings). Each apartment has 4 floors, with each floor containing 16 apartments.

Each floor has floor has 7 – 12 limited partners, with each limited partner having 1 – 3 dependents. Each floor therefore has around 25 residents. With four floors, each building has approximately 100 residents. An apartment building also forms a branch.

Captains and branch presidencies

Of the approximately 100 residents in a branch, around 40 of them are limited partners. The limited partners form 4 group councils of around 10 limited partners each. Each group council is diverse, containing different social groups that are reflective of the society within which a community operates. Additionally, a group contains members of the four main demographics: married men (A), married women (B), single women (C), and single men (D).

The council meets at least quarterly and provides limited partners with a platform to interact and discuss common interest matters to their demographic within their branch. One of the members of the group council serves the group as a captain. Four captains who serve the four groups in an apartment building (branch) form a branch presidency. A branch presidency’s membership is drawn from the four main demographics, for the purposes of representation.

Captains are responsible for recruiting limited partners into the community through their council and by extension, branch. The Human Relations Agency’s automated system develops a clear definition of the sort of recruits that the community needs. It then breaks it down to the most basic social organization in the community – group. The criteria and subsequent recruitment process carefully consider that group’s current composition, that of other groups in a branch, other branches, villages, and the district. Therefore, while the captain has the responsibility to recruit, their discretion is limited by what the system recommends. This ensures that not only does the community achieve and maintain balance in all respects, but it also eliminates any chance that a captain would recruit through discrimination or nepotism. 

A captain does not recruit limited partners only from their demographic. Instead, they work to ensure that their recruits are diverse, considering social categorizations, gender, and social status, in addition to demographic groups.

Captains work in concert with their fellow captains in the branch presidency, and other presidencies in a village and district to ensure that the district is as diverse as possible. They are guided by present data on how diverse their district, village, and branch are, and what needs to be focused on to improve. They are also guided by community bylaws, which expressly require diversity as shown by demographic data about a population from which the community intends to recruit limited partners.

The captain serves as a service extension of the Human Relations Agency, though they also act as an interface between participants and other community agencies. Captains help participants navigate the agency’s automated system and other relevant tools used by the different agencies to deliver services.

10 branches form a village. Each of the branch presidencies also belongs to a specific branch board. Branch boards provide an additional check and balance for captains and branch presidencies. Branches are numbered based on the village’s hub, in the direction of the breezeway one-way traffic direction.

A hub is formed at the intersection of breezeways between villages. Hub buildings are used for a range of commercial activities that need to be closer to residential areas, such as daycare centers, grocery stores, and emergency centers, among others.

A branch’s number determines with whom its presidency will form a branch board. Branch presidencies 1, 2, and 3 form one branch board, as do 4, 5, and 6, and 7, 8, and 9.

Four villages make a district. The last branch presidency in each village in the community (branch presidency 10) combines with three others in their district or cluster of 3 districts to form additional branch boards. The last branch presidencies in villages 1, 2, and 3 in each district make a board. The last branch presidencies in village 4 of each of the 3 districts in a cluster also form a board.

Branch boards play an important advisory role in the recruitment process. As a captain recruits, he is advised by their board to ensure that their recruitment takes into consideration diversity, and utilizes available data to ensure balance in demographics, profession, social class, and any other relevant consideration.

Branch board formation can be illustrated as follows:

Besides belonging to a branch presidency and a board, every captain belongs to a demographic presidency of 3. A demographic presidency is made up of 3 captains within a board, and who serve the same demographic. The demographic presidency mainly serves an advisory function, safeguarding issues common to the particular demographic, and helping in mentorship and support for incoming captains.

The automated system is designed to help participants with all the help they need in matters related to various agencies. However, should they run into problems, captains assist them in navigating the system, or direct them to relevant contractors who help them at a fee.

Automated system

The Communication Agency relies on an advanced automated system to carry out most of its duties, especially those that involve interaction with participants. While the agency’s infrastructure is done by contractors, the agency uses its automated system to vet bids and choose who is best placed to develop it. Contractors who run the infrastructure depend on the automated system to interact with users and the agency.

In the course of its operations, the Communication Agency collects and generates enormous amounts of information. The agency uses its automated system to process and protect this data. The automated system analyses the information and explores how it can leverage the information without infringing on privacy and data protection laws.

Contractors

The Communication Agency relies on contractors to do the tasks that branch presidencies, the executive presidency, and the automated system are unable to handle properly. As the agency sets up its operating strategies and policies, it enlists the help of contractors who specialize in various fields of communications strategy. Additionally, the agency needs contractors to help in setting up the automated system, and the tools needed to monitor and adjust it to ensure optimal performance.

The Services that the agency provides are made possible by contractors. The agency needs contractors to develop and maintain its services offering mobile connectivity. It also needs contractors to handle the logistics of delivering and retrieving communication gadgets to and from participants as per their lease agreements with the agency.

The Communication Agency has a proactive program to ensure that participants have access to information, but also that this information is in line with the law and community bylaws. It needs contractors, working independently and in concert with the automated system, to ensure that this is achieved.  The agency also relies on contractors to prepare training modules and deliver them to participants.

Inter-agency cooperation

The 24 community agencies form three columns of 8 agencies each. There is loose collaboration between the agencies in a column. The Communication Agency is part of the first column.

The Communication Agency works with the Human Relations Agency (agency 1) and village presidencies for human relations to communicate recruitment details to new and prospective limited partners. The agencies extensively collaborate to project the community’s positive brand to people as they learn about the community, and once they join.

The Communication Agency helps the Health and Nutrition Agency (agency 4) to better communicate to participants the health information that they need to lead healthy lives. The Communication Agency also works with the Community Bank (agency 7) to acquire the needed infrastructure to deliver communication services to the people.

Presidencies’ offices, meetings, and quarterly conferences

Offices

The Communication Agency’s executive presidency has offices in District Building 10’s first floor, on the western side. Facing them on the eastern side are the offices for trustee presidency and Regulatory Bureau’s operational presidency serving the agency and District 10.

Trustees and the regulatory operational presidencies alternate their offices. Trustees have the offices in building 10 on Mondays and Wednesdays, while the operational presidencies use the offices on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as shown in this timetable:

Building / Communication AgencyBuilding 22/ Cropland and Pastures Agency
MondayTrustee presidencyRegulatory Bureau Operational presidency
TuesdayRegulatory Bureau Operational presidencyTrustee presidency
WednesdayTrustee presidencyRegulatory Bureau Operational presidency
ThursdayRegulatory Bureau Operational presidencyTrustee presidency

The first floor’s layout is as follows, including other public servants who serve District 10.

Working hours and meetings

All community public servants work from Monday to Thursday, from 8:00 to 8:45 in the morning. The Communication Agency’s executive presidency uses this time to interact with other public servants and in some instances, contractors. On Thursday, each presidency (four presidents serving A, B, C, and D) meets for a 45-minute meeting from 9:00 to 9:45 in the morning.

On the last Friday of each quarter, between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM, each demographic presidency meets. The three-member presidency discusses common bureau matters that are of interest to the demographic they serve. On Saturday, again between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM, the whole board meets, where the presidents present their input from the previous day’s demographic presidency meeting, and prepare for the quarterly conference. The aim is to have a cohesive presentation during the quarterly conference but tailored to specific demographic interests.

Quarterly conferences

Quarterly conferences are held on the last Sunday of each quarter, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, with a lunch break in between. During quarterly conferences, each demographic presidency sits together in the same row.

Quarterly conferences are held in District Buildings 5 and 17. Each building has a lower and higher assembly court. The different demographic groups use the assembly courts as follows:

BuildingAssembly courtDemographic
5Lower courtMarried men (A)
5Higher courtMarried Women (B)
17Lower courtSingle women (C)
17Higher courtSingle men (D)

Branch presidencies do not attend quarterly conferences. Instead, they follow the relevant proceedings online alongside other participants.

Each of the four assembly courts has seats for 480 presidents representing the respective demographic. In the diagram below each of the 4 courts is illustrated. The ceiling of each court has an elliptical arch that enables executive presidents, who are the only ones who make a presentation during the conference, to speak without the need to amplify their voices. The 480 seats are easily rotatable to enable presidents to face whoever is speaking.

Each of the four courts has an identical arrangement and number of seats. The exact arrangement of each court can therefore be illustrated using one court, in this case, building 5’s lower court that is used by married men (A).

Within an assembly court, the 480 presidents are arranged in terms of demographic presidencies of 3. The Public Administration Bureau’s demographic presidency for married men (10A, 11A, and 12A) sits in the highlighted seats. Various district demographic presidencies also sit on the same row as indicated.


[1] These demographic groups are married men (A), married women (B), single women (C), and single men (D).