Communication Agency interactions

9 min read


The Communication Agency provides participants and community agencies with the infrastructure and tools to communicate. It also ensures that such communication is proper, beneficial, and lawful.

The agency is part of the Public Administration Bureau. Other agencies in the bureau are Bylaws & IT Infrastructure and Public Relations agencies. As a bureau, the three agencies facilitate participants’ access to information.

Provision of internet and cell connectivity

The Communication Agency provides cell phone and internet connectivity to participants. This service involves two parts: setting up and operating the required infrastructure; and providing participants with communication gadgets – cell phones, tablets, satellite phones, and other communication tools.

Within the physical campus, the Communications Agency sets up cell phone towers and connects every apartment and office with high-speed internet. The infrastructure is capital-intensive and requires loans from the Community Bank to be actualized. The Capital Bank invests limited partners’ investment in community agencies, including the Communication Agency, which they use for operations, including down payment for loans.

The agency engages contractors who manage the systems and infrastructure that support these services. The agency also has an automated system through which it interacts with the contractors and participants. Contractors provide business support and consultancy on things such as rates and other business decisions, such that the agency runs like a modern telco would.

In some instances, it may not be possible to provide internet and cellular connectivity. External resorts, as well as camps in the pastures that herdsmen stay in as they take care of animals, maybe too far to financially justify fiber optic connection, for instance. In other cases, a community may be situated in a very remote area, demanding the use of alternative means of communication.

The community hires existing cellular companies to provide services where the Communication Agency’s coverage is absent. The agency enters into a contract with the company to provide these services at a preferential cost on the strength of the customer base and other bargaining points. Satellite internet services, such as Starlink, can also be contracted to serve remote communities and installations.

Participants lease communication gadgets from the Communication Agency. The community uses this approach for a few reasons. First, cell phones and other gadgets are assets, and the community owns all assets. Secondly, these gadgets depreciate very quickly, yet they are expensive to acquire in the first place. By hiring a device, a participant accesses the latest device, without the risk of acquiring an asset that will practically be scrap in a few years.

Online information

The Community is keen to optimize access to information in a way that ensures it is beneficial to participants. The agency, through its control of internet and cellular access, as well as ownership of personal communication gadgets can decisively make this happen.

Today, the internet is awash with information that does not positively impact society, instead leading to addiction, depression, violence, and social tension. In many countries around the world, including the US, much of this information is protected by the law, despite its impact on society.

Mill’s Theory on truth explains the importance of free speech, stating that the truth is most likely to emerge from a free marketplace of ideas. The nature of this information is important. If it is worthless or dangerous, it means sharing or protecting it does nothing to improve the welfare of people or find the truth.

The community tasks the Communication Agency to identify information whose sharing is definitively unable to lead to any positive development or help in establishing the truth. Since the community is subject to the laws in the state or country where it is based, it cannot legally ban some aspects of speech that the Communication Agency has so identified. However, the agency can either charge a high premium, making it prohibitively expensive to access such material or configure its services so that those who want to access such information can only do so through other service providers.

These measures may not be enough to deal with acute problems, such as sex addiction. The agency extensively trains participants on responsible use of the internet and how to ensure their interaction with information is for good. The agency closely monitors how participants interact with the internet and routinely steps in to encourage or discourage some forms of interaction. Content creators are also incentivized to shun negative information, and use the tools the agency provides them to offer quality information, entertainment, and education.

All measures to control how information is accessed are automated. Configuration of services, such as preventing its internet services from accessing specific material, monitoring what participants are consuming, and training are all automated functions.

The community runs on a raft of bylaws that govern what is expected of participants, over and above living within the laws of the jurisdiction in which a community is located. Bylaws are formulated with the participation of those who belong to the community. Among other things, bylaws spell out how information is to be accessed and disseminated.

A community can decide that they will not allow specific content to be made or distributed, such as pornography, even if such material is legal. It can then determine how to enforce such a bylaw, by either having the Communication Agency block the content in its internet and cellular connection services, or in the gadgets, it leases to participants. Alternatively, it can institute fines and even expulsion for those who repeatedly breach the bylaws.

Interactions with participants

Digital communication is a central part of people’s lives in modern society, a place it will arguably hold even more firmly in the years to come. As the agency that will manage this exchange of information, the Communication Agency will doubtlessly interact extensively with participants. The interaction is not only in leasing a cell phone and providing a cellular connection. It will also involve providing a superior experience in how participants interact with information.

Illustration 1:

Ricky and his wife, Meg, joined the community a few years ago with their three children. The eldest, Alan, is 10. Terry and Maria are twin sisters and recently celebrated their 4th birthday. Ricky is a marketing consultant, while Meg runs a business as a public relations expert.

As a young couple, and due to the nature of their work, Ricky and Meg are dependent on their mobile devices for a large part of their entertainment and business. Ricky uses his tablet for virtually every aspect of his written correspondence with clients, formulating marketing plans that help businesses communicate with their target market, developing and helping to execute marketing campaigns, and drawing up quotations, invoices, and receipts.

He also uses the gadget for much of his research. As an avid football fan, Ricky usually watches live matches on his tablet. This is especially the case when he is at work, or when his wife and children are using the television to watch their favorite shows. He uses his phone mostly for calls and short messages.

The Communication Agency leases these items to Ricky. He agrees to its terms and conditions in the usage of the services it offers. The agency informs Ricky that the devices are configured to prevent the installation of some specific apps, that the community has deemed harmful to participants. It also informs him that through its automated system, it can see Ricky’s usage of the devices, and recommend changes where necessary. For instance, excessive consumption of social media can be flagged, due to the link between such use and depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.

Meg prefers a laptop, which is provided by the bylaws and IT Infrastructure Agency. But she also has a phone that she uses for her business calls, messaging, and the occasional quick email or meeting.

The Communication Agency provides Meg with an internet connection to perform her tasks on the laptop. It also leases her the phone and provides the cellular network. The agency uses its algorithms to monitor her online activities, so that it can advise if she is breaching any bylaws, or otherwise, whether she is using the gadgets in ways that could potentially harm her health or business.

For instance, Meg likes to stream the latest episodes of her favorite shows using her phone. The community recommends, in line with health advice, that screen time outside work should be 2 hours per day. If the agency sees that she is binging on the shows, it recommends that she reduce her time on screen. Since this is not a community requirement, it cannot be enforced, but the agency can share information, in concert with the Health and Nutrition Agency so that she understands why it is important to follow its advice. 

Their 10-year-old son, Alan, does not have a phone, but he has an educational tablet. He uses the tablet for some of his school work, as well as entertainment. His time online is however limited, to not affect his studies, and to protect him from extensive consumption of information that is not beneficial to him.

The agency provides Alan with the tab through his father, who pays the leasing charges and is responsible for the device. The agency has strict regulations about the use of the tablet since as a minor, he is more susceptible to negative internet influences. He is also at a stage where he is impressionable, justifying the need to have these regulations. Additionally, excessive screen time negatively affects academic performance.

Illustration 2

George is a limited partner who runs a hosting business. Currently, he is contracted by the Recreation and Arts Agency to run an external community vacation resort, located in the hinterlands, several miles from the community’s physical plant. Before this, he was a host in his village building, maintaining a double floor and arranging for routine maintenance, as well as deep cleaning. In the external resort, he performs the same functions to a large extent, though he additionally markets the resort, since his income depends on how many people use the resort, and has deeper interaction with participants who stay at the resort from time to time.

In a month, he spends two weeks in the resort, and the remaining two weeks in the community. While he is in the community, he is regularly contracted by other businesses that run external resorts to perform consultancy work. His wife has a business within the community, which suits the family as their children are still in elementary school.

The external resort is outside the coverage of the community’s cellular network. Due to the distance from the resort to the community, and other human settlements, there is no fiber-optic infrastructure, since all companies that could provide such a service do not see its viability. Cellular connection to other networks is also sketchy, making it impossible to have clear phone calls from here.

Communication agency

George and his guests use satellite technology for all their communications. The resort has a satellite phone but this is only for official use and emergencies. All other communication is carried out through Starlink services. The Communication Agency has reached an agreement with Starlink for two packages, one for household internet, which George and his guests use while on the property, and a roaming package, which guests can use when they go out for drives and excursions.

The external resort is located in an area that is prone to hurricanes, besides other extreme weather incidents. The resort is equipped with emergency messaging services which can help coordinate rescue missions in case such events occur. To cater to people with speech disabilities, George has also subscribed to relay services, a service that has helped him market his business and be empathetic and responsive to the market’s needs.

The Communication Agency is given a preferential rate by the internet service provider because it also purchases plans for many other resorts, and herding camps that dot the hinterlands and pastures. However, it is not responsible for paying for these services. Instead, it gets George and other hosts to sign agreements to pay for these services. A successful host will ensure there is connectivity at their resort.

In the consultancy business that George runs within the community, he also needs internet and cellular services. Due to the nature of his business, he does not rely so much on the cellular network for his work, since he will be out of reach on his cellphone half the time. Instead, he utilizes the fixed wireless phone in the apartment that he lives in with his family. The phone and the service on which it runs, as well as the internet connectivity that serves the apartment, are provided by the Communication Agency.

After agreeing with his wife, George is responsible for paying household bills due to the Communication Agency. His wife, on the other hand, settles her personal cell phone hire and network services, as well as the internet connection at her place of business.

Each of the couple’s children has a tab that they use for their schoolwork and entertainment. The tabs are highly personalized to each user. In line with guidelines on screen time and material that can be accessed by a person of each age, the tabs help each child manage their screen time well.

For instance, if a child has been online watching an entertainment video for more than 1 hour 30 minutes, the tab will have a preinstalled app that informs the user that they only have 30 more minutes for the day. These notifications will pop up periodically over the next 30 minutes, until two hours are up, when it is no longer possible to watch entertainment-themed videos. Every other main use of the tab is also allocated time to prevent the children from becoming too dependent on electronic gadgets.