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Farmer built fiber-optic rural broadband network
United Kingdom Created: 27 Dec 2016
"I'm just a farmer's wife," says Christine Conder, modestly - But for 2,300 members of the rural communities of Lancashire she is also a revolutionary internet pioneer.

Her DIY solution to a neighbour's internet connectivity problems in 2009 has evolved into B4RN, an internet service provider offering fast one gigabit per second broadband speeds to the parishes which nestle in the picturesque Lune Valley.

That is 35 times faster than the 28.9 Mbps average UK speed internet connection according to Ofcom.

It all began when the trees which separated Chris's neighbouring farm from its nearest wireless mast - their only connection to the internet, provided by Lancaster University - grew too tall.

Something more robust was required, and no alternatives were available in the area, so Chris decided to take matters into her own hands.

She purchased a kilometre of fibre-optic cable and commandeered her farm tractor to dig a trench.

After lighting the cable, the two farms were connected, with hers feeding the one behind the trees.

"We dug it ourselves and we lit [the cable] ourselves and we proved that ordinary people could do it," she says.

"It wasn't rocket science. It was three days of hard work."

Her motto, which she repeats often in conversation, is JFDI. Three of those letters stand for Just Do It. The fourth you can work out for yourself.

And JFDI she has.

B4RN now claims to have laid 2,000 miles (3,218km) of cable and connected a string of local parishes to its network. It won't connect a single household, so the entire parish has to be on board before it will begin to build.

Each household pays £30 per month with a £150 connection fee and larger businesses pay more. Households must also do some of the installation themselves.

The entire infrastructure is fibre-optic cable right to the property, rather than just to the cabinet, with existing copper phone lines running from that to the home, as generally offered by British Telecom.

The service is so popular that the company has work lined up for the next 10 years and people from as far as Sierra Leone have attended the open days it holds a couple of times a year.

The bulk of the work is done by volunteers, although there are now 15 paid staff also on board. Farmers give access to their land and those with equipment like diggers and tractors do the heavy work.

However other landowners can charge - B4RN has complained on its Facebook page about the price of cabling under a disused railway bridge owned by Highways England.

A spokesperson told the BBC these are "standard industry costs" which include a £4,500 fee for surveying, legal fees and a price per metre for the cable installation.

While B4RN has yet to make a profit, once it has paid back its shareholders it should be in good financial health - although one of the conditions is that profits must be ploughed back into the community.

Chris's services to rural broadband have recognised by the Queen - she was awarded an MBE in 2015, alongside Barry Forde, a retired university lecturer who now leads the co-operative.

Incredibly, many B4RN customers had been surviving on dial-up services or paying high fees for satellite feeds. Chris says that some still are.

With farmers having to register online with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) within five days of every calf being born in order for it to enter the food chain, connectivity is vital.

"All the farmers who haven't got broadband have to rely on land agents or auction marts or public wi-fi spaces which we haven't got round here either, or paying somebody to do it," says Chris.

"What the farmers were finding was the dial-up just couldn't cope with it.

"They bought satellites, but then the children would use all the satellite feed to do their things and then they came to use it at night and there was no feed left, they'd gone over the data and they were being charged a fortune for what they then used.

"So the farmers have been incredibly supportive of this and that's why they've given us free rein throughout the fields, which we go through to connect them and then we get to the villages which subsidise the farmers' connections.

"You couldn't do it just for the farmers alone, but you couldn't get to the village without the farmers so it's tit for tat."

There are other independent fibre broadband providers out there, like Gigaclear which serves around 50,000 customers based in several UK counties and Hyperoptic which is active in 13 cities. They all claim to offer 1Gbps speeds.

"The best way to make sure this country catches up is to support the alternative networks," says Chris.

"Wherever there's competition BT will then up their game.

"We can't do the whole country. [BT, Virgin etc] are good businesses. They are in it to make a profit, that's what businesses are supposed to do."

Openreach, currently a division of BT, owns the UK's largest broadband infrastructure.

"The big picture is that we've got a plan, alongside the government, to get to 95% UK fibre coverage," said Kim Mears, Openreach's managing director of Infrastructure Delivery.

The provider has also upgraded 90 small communities through its Community Fibre Partnership, set up to work in areas it describes as "hard to reach".

Ms Mears appealed to those struggling with poor connectivity to make contact.

"There is lots available if communities come together. We are really sitting here waiting to help," she said.
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Source: BBC News, Zoe Kleinman, 26 Dec 2016

En gledelig julegave?
Norway Created: 26 Dec 2016
Etter en høringsrunde i sommer med til dels sterk kritikk for pinlig svakt faglig grunnlag i håndteringen av elektromagnetiske felt (EMF), er høstens revisjon av strålevernforskriften alt ferdig. Den ble vedtatt av regjeringen den 16. desember. Det vil si i all hast før juleferien. Da er det alltid travelt, og kvaliteten på beslutningen kan bli deretter. Enhver i sentralforvaltningen vet at det er et gunstig tidspunkt for å få kjappe vedtak, hva enten temaet er ulv, olje eller stråling.

Revisjonen innebærer ikke noe stort linjebrudd, men inneholder enkelte vesentlige og noen negative og positive presiseringer og endringer for det som ofte misvisende kalles «ikke-ioniserende stråling». I sum viser endringene at framover er det striden om kunnskapsgrunnlaget som blir stadig viktigere: Strålevernet holder seg med foreldet kunnskap som styrer forskriften og hindrer ethvert konstruktivt tiltak for å avbøte skadene fra ikke-termiske elektromagnetiske felt – både for mennesker og annet liv.

*SNIP* read the entire article via the source link below...
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Einar Flydal, 23 Dec 2016

Former nurse trapped in her own home because mobile phone signals and wifi make her sick
United Kingdom Created: 26 Dec 2016
Kim De'Atta suffers from severe migraines and even heart palpitations, wears a 'shield' on her head and seeks out mobile blackspots to get some respite.

A former nurse is trapped in her remote home because mobile phone signals and wifi make her sick.

Kim De'Atta suffers from severe migraines, infections, tiredness and even heart palpitations in phone and internet hotspots due to her rare condition, known as electromagnetic sensitivity.

While most moan about poor connectivity to the latest wireless 4G network, Kim seeks out mobile blackspots and cannot venture beyond her home in Chard, Somerset.

The area has little signal and gives her respite from the crippling condition, but Kim's isolation has left her living as a recluse, losing touch with family and friends.

She said: "I have not seen friends and family for so long.

"I have had two visitors for half a day each this year. It's heartbreaking really."

Her problems started as a teenager in south London and she later had to quit her job as an intensive care nurse and flee to the West Country, reports SomersetLive.

Kim, who wears a special shield net on her head, said: "When I started working as a staff nurse, that's when the serious problems began.

"I worked a lot in intensive and it was just when mobile phones were coming in.

"I thought I would buy one so they could call me if there was an emergency."

She added: "The first time I put it up to my head it was like a laser going into my brain.

"Every time I put it up to my head I got the pain.

"After that I was finding I was getting more and more fatigued and my immune system was getting knocked meaning I was getting infections."

The condition has been highlighted in hit Netflix show Better Call Saul , which features the character Chuck McGill, played by Michael McKean, who has to wear a jacket lined with foil and ban mobile phone use in his presence.

Kim first relocated to Glastonbury, Somerset, but was forced to move on again when a huge mobile phone mast was erected.

She said: "When the 3G went on my health went into serious problems.

"My nervous system started going into overdrive. My head felt like it was going to implode and explode at the same time.

"I was also getting breathlessness, heart palpitations and lower back pain.

"I had started to suffer from serious ear aches and was becoming really sensitive to light."

Kim rarely leaves her home and says people think she is 'mad', while others point and stare at her unusual headgear when she goes on rare outings.

She did not see her favourite aunt for 10 years due to her condition, but despite the pain, Kim made the journey to visit the 91-year-old.

Kim said: "I had to wear my shielded bed net over my head and you can imagine I got some funny looks on the bus.

"It was so tough for me, but I'm pleased I did it because she died the next year and if I hadn't seen her I would never have forgiven myself."

The only places she can visit are other signal blackspots like Crewkerne, Somerset, and Lyme Regis in Dorset.

She is now getting support from Electrosensitivity UK who have helped her with equipment to shield her from harm.

Kim wants to highlight the plight of sufferers and is calling on the government to take the condition seriously.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: MIrror, Josh FordhamMarc Walker, 20 Dec 2016

Science review by Dr. Karl Hecht was disappeared by German Govt.
Germany Created: 21 Dec 2016
With regard to the current discussions, it is suitable to recall a work of Karl Hecht, which is now published on multiple demand in English tanslation: Health Implications of Long-term Exposure to Electrosmog (first German edition 2012).

The review findings by Karl Hecht – which disappeared into the government archives as soon as they had been submitted and which we are now making available to the public in this brochure in its most comprehensive form to date – are based on the assessment of 878 Russian studies between 1960 and 1997.

*SNIP* download the review document via the source link below...
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Source: Kompetenzinitiative, Prof. Dr. med. Karl Hecht et al., Aug. 2016

More results from Interphone confirm glioma risk associated with use of mobile phones
Sweden Created: 21 Dec 2016
The Interphone study on use of mobile phones and brain tumour risk included 13 countries during the study period 2000 – 2004. The major results were published after a delay of 6 years in 2010. In the last decile of cumulative exposure > 1,640 h a statistically significant increased risk for glioma was found, OR = 1.40, 95 % CI =1.03-1.89. In the other categories of cumulative use a decreased risk was found. Bias and confounding were discussed as potential reasons for that. Analysing only subjects with regular use of a mobile phone yielded OR = 1.82, 95 % CI = 1.15-2.89 in the group with highest cumulative use.

There was an age difference between cases and controls in the Interphone study and furthermore cases and the matched controls were interviewed at different time periods, controls usually later than cases. This is problematic for mobile phone use with rapid penetration of the use in the population. In a recently published alternative analysis, cases and controls nearest in age and time for interview were included. The association between mobile phone use and glioma was strengthened thereby. Thus, among regular users in the 10th decile (> 1,640 h) cumulative use gave OR = 2.82, 95 % CI = 1.09-7.32. The authors concluded that there was ‘stronger positive association among long-term users and those in the highest categories of cumulative call time and number of calls.’.

Since the IARC evaluation in 2011 on exposure to radiofrequency radiation form mobile phones, and other devices that emit such radiation, and brain tumour risk additional research has strengthened the association. It is by now time to re-evaluate the scientific evidence on the cancer risk from radiofrequency radiation.
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Source: Lennart Hardell, 19 Dec 2016

BioInitiative Working Group Issues a “No Confidence” Letter to the WHO EMF Program Manager
USA Created: 21 Dec 2016
The BioInitiative Working Group has advised the World Health Organization’s Emilie van Deventer that the membership composition of the RF Environmental Health Criteria Core Group is unacceptable. WHO is urged to make changes to the WHO RF EHC Core Group membership to more fairly reflect membership and expertise of the 2011 IARC RF Working Group. At present the WHO RF EHC Core Group is indistinguishable from ICNIRP (1, 2) undermining credibility of the process and ensuring doubt about conclusions.

*SNIP* read the entire letter via the source link below...
Click here to view the source article.
Source: BioInitiative Working Group, 19 Dec 2016

Residents' fury after phone mast erected WITHOUT planning permission
United Kingdom Created: 16 Dec 2016
Confusions over the rules has seen a phone mast go up in a Teesside community - even though planning permission was refused in the summer.

Protesters are furious that the mast has been erected at the corner of Birkdale Road and Kilbridge Close in New Marske , even though Redcar and Cleveland’s regulatory committee originally threw it out.

Under planning rules, the council has 56 days to tell the applicant whether prior approval was needed and if so, whether that approval was being given.

But a dispute over when that process started has seen the mobile phone company install the mast anyway - even though councillors didn’t want it to be.

And with the 12.5m mast standing near a school and local houses, some residents feel it’s a blot on the landscape that needs moving.

Starting with a public meeting in the Gleneagles Community Centre tonight, organised by borough councillor Mike Findley, they are now looking to work with the council to try and get the mast moved.

Resident Bob Moodie said: “People around here don’t want it and it didn’t even secure planning permission in the first place.

“It’s a blight on the village and we will do all we can to get it relocated.”

He said the “administrative failures” had left residents with a mast “they clearly did not wish to have imposed on them, on this sensitive site in the village, close by a school and many residential homes and the shopping area.”

Possible health issues and noise emanating from the equipment are also cited by residents as reasons to oppose the mast.

The mast has been erected under a joint agreement between phone companies Telefonica UK and Vodafone.

The developer has told the authority that, as they understand it, the council’s decision wasn’t issued within the 56 day period.

Mark Ladyman, assistant director for regeneration at Redcar and Cleveland Council, said: “We are sorry that a dispute about the interpretation of regulations has led to the phone mast being erected against our wishes. The council is currently seeking legal advice in order to try and resolve the situation.

“To clarify, our planning officers have a fixed period of time to deal with planning applications and it is said that we took too long to make our decision.

“We took the starting point as being from when we received important requested documents and information from the applicants which we considered was needed to validate the application.

“The applicants took the starting point as being from when they made their initial submission, which we believed was incomplete.

“This is the nature of the issue we are trying to resolve.”
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Source: Gazette Live, Dave Robson, 15 Dec 2016

Swiss Council of States rejects rise to radiation limits
Switzerland Created: 14 Dec 2016
The Swiss Council of States has voted against a motion to raise the upper limit on radiation transmissions from mobile radio antennas.

The motion, which was approved by the National Council in June, was rejected by the state council by a margin of 20 to 19. Under the bill, radio antennas would be authorised to transmit a higher level of radiation in a bid to increase their capacity.

The Swiss telecommunications association Asut warned that rejecting the bill would lead to the need for thousands of new transmissions towers to keep pace with the growing demand for mobile internet.

The campaign against the bill was based on health concerns raised by residents. By contrast, Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard argued that 90 percent of radiation exposure comes from terminals, rather than antennas, and cited WHO guidelines that higher radiation levels were within safe limits, according to Neue Zuercher Zeiting.
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Source: Telecom Paper, 13 Dec 2016

Getting It Wrong, Wrong, Wrong - New Book Dismisses Cell Phone Risks
USA Created: 9 Dec 2016
An epidemiologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City has written a new book that, according to the publisher, offers a "much-needed antidote to what has been called 'an epidemic of false claims'." One of these is that cell phones might cause brain cancer.

What purports to be common sense advice about how to evaluate health risks is anything but. It's nothing more than industry pseudoscience.

The public deserves better --so does Albert Einstein.

Read our review of this bad little book, with the misleading title, Getting Risk Right.

Louis Slesin, PhD
Editor, Microwave News
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Source: Microwave News, Louis Slesin, 05 Dec 2016

British expat launches appeal to unplug WiFi in her town
Spain Created: 9 Dec 2016
A BRITISH woman is campaigning to have WiFi removed from her town as exposure to mobile phone and computer signals threaten to ruin her life.

Expat Rosi Gladwell has launched her campaign in Polopus, in Granada, to minimise the risks of electromagnetic radiation exposure.

Suffering from extreme migraines and breathing problems, Gladwell was diagnosed with electromagnetic sensitivity four years ago.

Forced to rid her property of mobile phones and computers, Gladwell is now launching a campaign to educate others about the condition.

Following a meeting with mayor Matias Gonzalez Braos, the 67-year-old from Devon is confident that measures will be put in place.

“I am immensely impressed with our local mayor and how seriously he is taking this,” Gladwell told the Olive Press. “When talking about the dangers of WiFi technology, he came up with the idea of limiting the hours of access in the village by putting timer switches on the routers in the school, Town Hall and doctor’s surgery.

“This means that we are afforded protection from the emissions but are not cut off from communication.”

Gladwell has had to alter her entire life to avoid electromagnetic signals after being diagnosed with the condition.

In fact, she cannot stay in many hotels or eat in busy restaurants as the exposure to WiFi leaves her so ill.

“It is amazing how badly informed people are,” she added. “I truly feel that the public at large will also eventually be subject to the detrimental side effects.”

When contacted by the Olive Press, a spokesman for Polopos and La Mamola town hall confirmed that the mayor was looking at ways to reduce radiation.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Olive Press, Rob Horgan, 09 Dec 2016

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