A Telecommunications Revolution

What would it take to have a telecommunications revolution?

According to Inc Magazine (Inc.com), Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) providers tops the list of best performing industries in the next decade followed closely by retirement / pension plans, and biotechnology.

Best Performing Industries In The Coming Decade (2010-2019)

1 – Voice Over Internet Protocol Providers (VoIP) – 149.6%

2 – Retirement & Pension Plans – 133.7%

3 – Biotechnology – 127.6%

4 – e-Commerce & Online Auctions – 124.7%

5 – Environmental Consulting – 120.3%

6 – Video Games – 112.9%

7 – Trusts & Estates – 105.7%

8 – Search Engines – 100.9%

9 – Recycling Facilities – 80.9%

10 – Land Development – 72.7%.

It is a given that VoIP is here to stay. Now, what is VoIP? It is actually, simply, using internet service to make a phone call. It is sometimes referred to as internet telephony or broadband telephony.

Phone calls made using Voice over IP can actually be free, making VoIP a very attractive way to make phone calls. Generally, free phone calls are only available when internet services are used on both ends of the call. If a long distance call is made by someone through the internet to or from a traditional carrier such as Verizon, AT&T, or Qwest there is a charge applied. It all has to do with Inter-exchange carriers (IXC). We won’t go in to that.

What does all that have to do with a telecommunications revolution? The key is the word long distance and someone. A telecommunications revolution could indeed take place if both were involved. To explain what is meant, what if you were to make a long distance phone call and a digital telephone pole (Google it) were used on the other end that would route the call through the internet and make it a local call even though it is actually a long distance call. The cost would then be minimal.

These digital telephone poles would be placed in the homes of people in the same area code as where the calls are to be terminated. If these digital telephone poles were placed in the homes of people all across the country, you would indeed have a telecommunications revolution. You have just created a situation where the $12 billion dollar annually telecommunications Inter-exchange carrier industry has been brought down to the level of the “average Joe” in the homes of millions across the country – a telecommunications revolution.

Recycling Of Electrical Waste And The EU WEEE Directive

The UK has brought into force the EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive including a detailed list of products covered under the new law.

This imposes new requirements for the disposal of electrical waste.

The WEEE directive covers a wide range of products such as:

Large household appliances: fridges, freezers, microwave ovens, washing machines
Small household appliances: vacuum cleaners, toasters, coffee machines, electric toothbrushes
IT and telecommunications equipment: PCs, laptops, monitors, keyboards, printers, cordless phones
Consumer equipment: radios, TVs, DVD players, video recorders etc
Lighting equipment: low-energy Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) are classified as WEEE
Electric tools: all tools such as drills, saws, sewing machines. Only large, stationary industrial tools are exempt
Toys, sport and leisure equipment: electric trains, game consoles, cycle computers etc
Medical devices: implanted or infected products are exempt
Monitoring and control devices: smoke alarms, thermostats etc
Automated devices: this classification covers all appliances that automatically deliver products, e.g. drinks, food, money etc.

Businesses which sell these items can either give consumers the right to return the goods to the shop when they are going to be thrown away in replacement for a new item or they can opt to fund centralized recycling. There are at least 36 different “producer compliance schemes” manufacturers and importers can join. The schemes arrange collection, delivery and disposal of affected waste without further charge to the customer. The average cost of each device subject to the regime is estimated to be less than GBP1 per item sold.

Many businesses will be affected by the new rules. It is highly recommended to seek legal advice if you are concerned about the effects of the WEEE Directive on your business. Detailed information about the WEEE regulations is on the website of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (formally the DTI) at http://www.dti.gov.uk/innovation/sustainability/weee/page30269.html

Recycle Opportunities Around the Corner

Most metal, plastics and glass items are recyclable these days, though many people do not know where to bring them. Leaving the recycling container out on the curb for the trash men to pick up is one way of doing so, but then how can a person be sure they make it to the proper places? When it comes to recycling technological products, such as computers, laptops, monitors, printers and printer cartridges, because they contain many heavy metals and other toxic substances, simply leaving them at the curb is not good enough.

With the focus on green technology using post consumer recycled materials in their construction, printers, and printer ink cartridges are items that take recycling seriously. Many companies specifically take these items so they are disposed of properly. The EPA has also set regulations concerning the disposal of anything containing toxic substances and this includes the heavy metals used in making technological devices.

Additionally, many manufacturers of printer cartridges have recycling programs in which consumers can take their old, used printer cartridges and trade them in for a percentage off the purchase of new ones. Staples has a printer exchange program in which consumers can bring in old printer cartridges and receive a store credit. HP initiated the HP Planet Partners program in which consumers can visit the HP website and requesting a postage paid envelope, box, or other supplies needed to ship the ink cartridges to HP. Additionally, they have a trade in program that compensates consumers for the recyclable materials they return to HP. Most stores that sell printers and printer ink accept computers, printers and ink and toner cartridges for recycling; however, the specific disposal procedures and trade in procedures will vary.

Other programs available to trade in ink cartridges for cash or store credit vary depending on which state or country a person lives in. Additionally, many companies on the Internet now accept ink and toner cartridges in exchange for cash, since they are so expensive to manufacture. These websites will offer a fraction of the amount they receive for the cartridges to the consumer returning them.

Additionally, most states have collection depots in which the people living in the community can bring their recyclable materials in for proper disposal. All of these collection sites abide by the state and federal regulations for the proper disposal of toxic and heavy metals. The Telecommunications Industry Association offers eCycling, a program that directs consumers to the nearest recycling centers in their community.