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Tech reporter stranded after driving out of cellphone range in app-powered smart car
Canada Created: 20 Feb 2020
'There was a lot of confusion over where to tow the useless car to get it to work,' says Kari Paul.

Kari Paul and her partner were planning on driving into the northern California wildness for a Valentine's Day weekend getaway. But when they left the city behind, they left behind a strong cellphone reception — and ended up stranded on a remote highway.

The couple were driving in a smart car they rented through the car-sharing app, Gig Car. When the app lost a stable connection with the car, it eventually shut the vehicle down.

Paul happens to be a technology reporter and wrote about her ordeal. Gig Car has since refunded her trip and added a credit to her account.

In a statement, Gig Car's parent company, American Automobile Association, told As It Happens they "deeply apologize" for what happened — adding, "we are committed to improving our service and customer care, and will assess this situation for learnings."

Paul spoke to As It Happens host Carol Off about her ordeal and what improvements she thinks need to be made to Gig Car and similar car-sharing apps.

First of all, walk us through how this car-sharing app works, at least in theory?

It's pretty convenient. You just download the app on your phone and then upload, I think, a driver's license and some of your payment information.

Then you can just find on the map a car parked and unlock it with your phone and then drive away.

How often have you used it?

I've probably used it 40 or 50 times. I use it pretty often.

OK. What happened on this trip?

We ended up going to a kind of remote area about three hours north of San Francisco and we ended up getting a bit stuck without cell service to update the car's software.

Why does that matter?

Basically, a phone unlocks the car using a combination of cell service and Bluetooth. So when you're out of cell range it can be difficult to unlock the car.

Usually, you can call Gig and have them remotely unlock it. But if you have been in a range out of cell service for a long enough time they lose the ability to remotely do anything to the car.

Well, then what happens when your car isn't able to talk to its owner?

In our case, it wouldn't start. We had gone down to the beach on a little hike for about 30 minutes. And when we got back the car would not start. It said we didn't have a key, I guess because it couldn't sense that the cell phone, which works with the key, was near it.

We called Gig [and] asked them what to do. They said we had to be towed. We ended up waiting a couple hours for a tow truck to come get us. And there was a lot of confusion over where to tow the useless car to get it to work.

You have to tow it to someplace where there is cell connection so the car can re-establish a connection with its master?

Yes, exactly. So it had to be towed to an area with cellphone service.

So we initially had it towed to our AirBnb because we had Wi-Fi there and thought that would be enough to start the car, having our phones securely connected to Wi-Fi.

But it turned out it actually needed to be towed about 30 miles (48 kilometres) away to the nearest town with cell service. So, it did involve two tow trucks and a lot of time on the customer service lines.

OK. So, I don't understand. You were on the customer service line on your cellphone?

Correct. We had enough cellphone service to call customer service and get this figured out — luckily, because otherwise we would have been completely stranded.

They were unable to ping the car because, I don't know, they hadn't updated, or synced, the software in 24 hours.

So you had hours of this ordeal. Two tow trucks. How many phone calls did you have to make?

More than 20. It was a lot of back and forth.

What does Gig Car say about this? I mean, is this a glitch in its system, or is it just a glitch in your experience, or what?

I think in this case, it's the combination of it being so remote. I mean, it's a 40-mile (64-kilometre) stretch of land with no cell service and about one tow truck serving the whole community there.

What Gig also told me is that they offer RFID (Radio-frequency identification) technology cards, similar to Zipcar and other car rental services, where you kind of scan the card to get into the car. So in the case that you don't have cell service or Bluetooth, you can still get into your car.

We did get a statement from Gig Car saying that they deeply apologize for your experience. They did mention this Gig card that you could get and that this would get around this. So could you have avoided all of this if you'd had one of those cards?

In theory this card could have helped me avoid the situation.

It also seemed to be an issue with the software and the car being unable to think due to the lack of cell service. I think the other issue here is that I'm a tech reporter. I'm pretty tech savvy. I've used this app 40 or 50 times, as I said. I've never heard of this card.

So I think it's also kind of a user experience issue and that the app does not tell you about this card. I know that Gig said they're going to start making it a bit clearer that if you go anywhere out of town you should get one of these cards in advance.

But it does take two weeks to ship to your house. So I think it's a bit at odds with their 'hop in and go' advertising language. So, I think maybe that's why it's not stressed so much on their website.
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Source: CBC, Chloe Shantz-Hilkes and John McGill, 19 Feb 2020

Smartphones Irradiate the Thyroid: Is This a Cancer Risk?
USA Created: 17 Feb 2020
Thyroid cancer among women is skyrocketing all over the world - Incidence is growing faster than for any other cancer.

The reasons why remain elusive.

The prevailing view is that there’s been an “epidemic of diagnosis” —that is, overdiagnosis. But a consensus is growing that lifestyle or environmental risk factors are also at work. Obesity is currently the leading candidate.

Sweden's Michael Carlberg and Lennart Hardell think that smartphones may also be part of the problem. Smartphone antennas are at the bottom of the phone and when holding one up to the ear, the thyroid is directly exposed to RF/microwave radiation.

Newly released cancer statistics add urgency to resolving this question.

Read the full story, out today, in Microwave News.

Louis Slesin, PhD
Editor, Microwave News
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Microwave News, Louis Slesin, 17 Feb 2020

High Court orders removal of mobile towers from sensitive areas
Bangladesh Created: 14 Feb 2020
Asks BTRC to monitor and control radiation level.

The High Court Division in a full verdict in the case of mobile tower radiation effect has issued 12-point directives including imposition of a ban on installation of mobile or telecommunication towers on the rooftops of residential area, educational institutions, hospitals, jail premises, heritage sites, playgrounds and places of worship.

The court in the full verdict released on Tuesday, also directed the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to remove all existing mobile or telecommunication towers from the potentially high-risk areas with substantial population density.

On April 26, a bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir in a short verdict declared as ‘illegal’ installation of mobile or telecommunication towers on the rooftops of residential areas, offices by six mobile operators.

The court had delivered the verdict after hearing a public interest writ petition of Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.

The full verdict also directed Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to limit emission of radiation at the level as prescribed by International Commission on Non-ionising Radiation Protection.

The court also directed Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to explain to it any impediments and constrains on the availability, acquisition and installation of instruments to ensure that the magnetic fields remained at certain acceptable frequencies.

The court directed the telecommunication regulatory commission to submit to it a ‘feasibility report’ within four months.

On April 26, Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh filed the writ petition as public interest litigation with the High Court seeking its directives following a media report on the detrimental effects of the mobile towers installed on the roofs of residential buildings and offices.

Earlier, the health ministry’s committee of experts found that radiation emitting from a mobile phone company’s tower was excessive and as such was posing threats to the public health as well as the environment.

The health ministry had submitted its report in compliance with the directive the court had issued in October 2012.

The report of the health ministry’s committee of experts prepared in 2013 had recommended that Telecommunication Regulatory Commission should bring the rate of radiation emitting from the mobile phone towers under its regular monitoring.

It had also recommended framing of the guidelines by the telecommunication regulatory commission to regulate radiation from mobile phone company towers.

According to the report, health ministry’s committee of experts examined radiation emission from 18 towers of six mobile phone companies at Motijheel, Gulshan and Mirpur in the capital.

Supreme Court lawyer Manzill Murshid appeared for Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh, while Reza-E-Rakib for the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and deputy attorney general Kazi Zinat Haq for the health ministry.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: NewAge Bangladesh, 17 Oct 2019

City Council Responds to Community, Adjusts 5G Regulations
USA Created: 13 Feb 2020
Dozens of Californians packed the Costa Mesa City Council chamber Tuesday night with homemade signs. They hugged. They cried. They beseeched the council to beware of potential health risks of 5G technology — which they fear will likely make its way to Costa Mesa once the council had updated its policies on wireless communication facilities.

In October, the council approved a set of changes in design guidelines for wireless technology boxes, and on Tuesday considered more changes to city regulations.

After nearly five hours of discussion, about 30 speakers and an impromptu closed session, the council offered some concessions for the concerned community members.

But for some members of the Costa Mesa Advocacy Group, a grassroots organization that opposes expansive infrastructure for small cell facilities, the allowances weren’t enough.

“We’ve spent hours and hours with our expert attorney to improve this ordinance and make it actually make sense. Staff continues to ignore them and act as a gatekeeper preventing any real material change from happening,” Costa Mesa Advocacy Group leader Alison Burchette said in an email Wednesday morning. “Thus making it so that [the City Council] had to try to bake a dang cake at midnight with a heap of ingredients.”

Most notably, the council, on a 6-1 vote, changed a requirement in the ordinance to make it so that small wireless communication facilities — which typically take the form of small boxes on street poles — must be 750 feet from other communication facilities of the same company. Some community members had asked to increase the originally proposed 500-foot separation to at least 1,000 feet.

The small cells can be 250 feet from facilities of other companies, and even closer in non-residential zones.

The council also changed a requirement that the Planning Commission had added two weeks earlier. Under the new ordinance, residents who opt in may receive an email every time a wireless provider applies to install a new small cell box, or any time a provider asks to swap out 4G technology for 5G. Members of the public had called for all applications to be publicly noticed.

The council kept some other measures that community members lamented, such as that small cells installed near residential properties must maintain a 25-foot distance. That’s not far enough away for many residents, who complained that close proximity to the sites can be harmful for people with electromagnetic sensitivity.

5G is a fifth-generation wireless network that is intended to increase internet speeds and provide more-reliable connections. But many residents in Orange County and throughout the state have expressed concerns with the technology, which activists feel could endanger public health because of the use of higher-frequency radio waves.

Several health professionals joined the Costa Mesa Advocacy Group in warning council members of potentially harmful effects of radio waves.

“Years ago, smoking was the thing to do,” said Charlie Fagenholz, a holistic chiropractic physician. “Looking back, if you knew then what you knew now, would you vote for or against it? We’re in the same boat with [electromagnetic] toxicity.”

Some residents recounted personal stories of struggling with health issues that they attributed to high exposure to electromagnetic frequencies. Some expressed concern about the potential effects of radio frequencies on children. Others thought small cells are ugly and would ruin Costa Mesa’s aesthetics. At several points, Mayor Katrina Foley asked members of the crowd to quiet their applause.

Tim Brown, a government-affairs manager for Crown Castle, a communications infrastructure provider, said small cells are needed to provide bandwidth and capacity that are not possible with current infrastructure.

“The reason why these sites are developed is because people want them to work,” Brown said. “We have to respond to those demands. … The way we do that is by developing the infrastructure we have here.”

Other representatives of telecommunication companies such as AT&T and Verizon thanked the council for their review and reminded the audience that the Federal Communications Commission has not determined that radio frequency emissions from wireless devices adversely affect human health.

“The weight of scientific evidence has not effectively linked exposure to radio frequency energy from mobile devices with any known health problems,” an FCC statement reads, citing research from the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization.

Council members emphasized that they can only make incremental changes to the ordinance because their hands are tied by the federal government’s regulations.

Many guidelines for the infrastructure of wireless communication facilities are federally mandated, though cities have a little leeway in regulating their aesthetics. Federal law, for instance, prohibits local governments from regulating construction of wireless telecommunication facilities based on perceived health effects.

At the end of the night’s exchange about wireless communications that stretched past midnight, Councilman Allan Mansoor voted against the proposed changes.

“I like the direction that we’re going, but I believe it’s rushed,” Mansoor said. “After midnight, our votes aren’t always the best. … I think we can do better.”

His comment provoked a tense exchange with other council members who challenged him to suggest concrete ways to improve the ordinance.

“Staff has done a really good job of trying to get us through all the land mines and be able to try to balance all the interests of protecting the community and addressing the concerns that were made, as well as addressing the concerns of the telecommunications industry,” Foley said, “and then trying to do something in a space where we really don’t have a lot of jurisdiction given to us at all by the federal government.”

The council will take a second, final vote on the changes at a future meeting.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Governing.com, Faith E. Pinho 07 Feb 2020

BREAKING: Switzerland halts rollout of 5G over health concerns
Switzerland Created: 12 Feb 2020
Switzerland, one of the world’s leaders in the rollout of 5G mobile technology, has placed an indefinite moratorium on the use of its new network because of health concerns.

The move comes as countries elsewhere around Europe race to upgrade their networks to 5G standards amid a furious rearguard diplomatic campaign by the US to stop them using Chinese technology provided by Huawei. Washington says the company, which is fundamental to most European networks’ upgrade plans, presents a grave security risk.

Switzerland is relatively advanced in Europe in adopting 5G. The wealthy alpine country has built more than 2,000 antennas to upgrade its network in the last year alone, and its telecoms providers have been promising their customers’ imminent 5G coverage for most of the past year.

However, a letter sent by the Swiss environment agency, Bafu, to the country’s cantonal governments at the end of January, has now in effect called time on the use of all new 5G towers, officials who have seen the letter told the Financial Times.

The agency is responsible for providing the cantons with safety criteria against which telecoms operators’ radiation emissions can be judged. Under Switzerland’s highly federalised structure, telecoms infrastructure is monitored for compliance and licensed by cantonal authorities, but Bern is responsible for setting the framework.

Bafu has said it cannot yet provide universal criteria without further testing of the impact of 5G radiation.

The agency said it was “not aware of any standard worldwide” that could be used to benchmark recommendations. “Therefore Bafu will examine exposure through adaptive [5G] antennas in depth, if possible in real-world operational conditions. This work will take some time,” it said.

Without the criteria, cantons are left with little option but to license 5G infrastructure according to existing guidelines on radiation exposure, which all but preclude the use of 5G except in a tiny minority of cases.

Several cantons have already imposed their own voluntary moratoria because of uncertainty over health risks.

Swiss law on the effects of radiation from telecoms masts is broadly in line with that of European peers, but specifies the application of more stringent precautionary measures in certain cases. New 5G communications technology means individuals are exposed to more concentrated beams of non-ionising radiation, but for shorter periods. Bafu must determine which legal standards to apply to this.

Swisscom, the country’s largest mobile operator, said it understood “the fears that are often expressed about new technologies”.

“There is no evidence that antenna radiation within the limit values adversely affects human health,” the company added, pointing out that 5G is run on frequencies similar to the current 4G standard, which has been subject to “several thousand studies.”

The company said Switzerland’s regulatory limits were “10 times stricter than those recommended by the World Health Organization in places where people stay for longer periods of time”.

Switzerland already has a notable anti-5G lobby, with recent protests against its rollout in Bern, Zurich and Geneva.

The Swiss Medical Association has advised caution on 5G, arguing that the most stringent legal principles should be applied because of unanswered questions about the technology’s potential to cause damage to the nervous system, or even cancers.

Five “popular initiatives” — proposals for legally binding referendums on 5G use — are already in motion in Switzerland. Two have already been formalised and are in the process of collecting the 100,000 signatures needed to trigger nationwide votes that if successful will amend Switzerland’s constitution.

One will make telecoms companies legally liable for claims of bodily damage caused by radiation from masts unless they can prove otherwise. The other proposes strict and stringent limits on radiation emissions from masts and will give local residents veto power over all new constructions in their area.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: FT.com, Sam Jones, 12 Feb 2020

Electrosensitivity: 'I didn't believe people had it, then it happened to me'
United Kingdom Created: 11 Feb 2020
Fatigue, pain, headaches, dizziness, burning, twitching, nausea, palpitations.

Watch the 15 min. video via the source link below...

Just some of the symptoms experienced by people who say they suffer from 'electrosensitivity'.

Electrosensitives – who are mostly self-diagnosed - say that electromagnetic fields from mobile phones, wi-fi and other modern technology are making them seriously ill.

Years of well-controlled, double-blind studies have found no evidence that electromagnetic fields cause these symptoms.

The World Health Organisation says electrosensitivity is not a medical diagnosis, and both the WHO and Public Health England say there’s no scientific basis that these symptoms are linked to electromagnetic field exposure.

But, with super-fast 5G mobile technology spreading across the UK, electrosensitives are getting increasingly worried.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: BBC, 07 Feb 2020

Scientists Sue FCC for Dismissing Studies Linking Cell Phone Radiation to Cancer
USA Created: 7 Feb 2020
A Nobel Prize-winning scientist has filed a lawsuit alleging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) failed to update cellular phone and wireless radiofrequency (RF) radiation limits and cellular phone testing methods in over two decades. These failures, the plaintiffs contend, ignore “peer-reviewed scientific studies showing that radiation from cell phones and cell phone towers and transmitters is associated with severe health effects in humans, including cancer, DNA damage, damage to the reproductive organs, and brain damage (including memory problems).”

Law&Crime obtained an exclusive copy of the lawsuit from Nobel co-laureate Devra Davis, who currently serves as president of the Environmental Health Trust (EHT), the lead plaintiffs in the action.

”The FCC has for years failed to protect public health by relying on 24-year-old safety tests designed when phones were the size of a shoe and used by few,” Davis told Law&Crime via email. ”We filed this appeal in order to insist that the agency take full measure of the U.S. government and other scientific evidence that cellphone radiation can be harmful.”

Davis continued, noting the FCC’s hands-off approach to cell phone-related regulation over the last three presidential administrations.

”The agency has dismissed hundreds of scientific studies submitted to its inquiry on wireless radiation and the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and others, without providing any rationale for doing so,” she said.

The lawsuit specifically accuses the FCC of violating the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and is requesting an appeal of the agency’s prior order denying to revisit cellular phone standards. From the filing:

[The FCC] (1) has improperly terminated a Notice of Inquiry begun in 2013 to review, update, and amend its emission exposure limits for radiofrequency (RF) radiation emitted by telecommunications devices and facilities, including but not limited to cell phones and cell phone towers and transmitters; (2) has improperly revised the criteria for determining when a licensee is exempt from its RF exposure evaluation criteria and the methods that RF equipment operators can use to mitigate the risk of excess exposure to the public and to workers; and (3) has improperly denied a petition for reconsideration of the [FCC’s] finding, and otherwise improperly rejected public comments, that the pinnae (outer ears) should be treated like other extremities for purposes of determining compliance with the RF emission exposure limits.

“The [FCC’s prior] Order exceeds the [FCC’s] statutory authority and poses significant risks to the public health, safety, and security,” the filing continues.

The plaintiffs’ attorney Edward Myers slammed the FCC’s prior decision in comments to Law&Crime.

“The FCC’s order terminated an inquiry into the adequacy of existing health and safety standards for radiofrequency radiation from wireless devices and facilities, including cell phones and cell phone towers and transmitters,” he said. “The existing regulations were promulgated in 1996 based on scientific data from 1992 and the FCC had commenced the inquiry in 2013 after the General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report finding that the existing standards may be based on outdated science and may need to be updated.”

Myers continued, clarifying the relief sought:

In challenging the FCC’s decision, the petitioners contend that the agency has unlawfully disregarded a large body of evidence in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, among others. This evidence includes numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies showing that radiation from cell phones and cell phone towers and transmitters is associated with severe health effects in humans, including cancer, DNA damage, damage to the reproductive organs, and brain damage (including memory problems). The petitioners are seeking to have the court remand the matter to the FCC so that it can complete the inquiry into its standards based on current science.

Davis went on to compare the lax regulatory environment to the state of affairs between U.S. administrative agencies and the powerhouse automobile industry until a consumer push—and concurrent litigation—led by Ralph Nader led to a series of meaningful reforms in the 1980s.

“Unlike France and Israel, many Americans are ignorant of the fact that phones are two-way microwave radios that are tested while held inches away from the body. Safety advice is also hidden within operating systems about keeping devices away from the abdomen of pregnant women or children,” Davis said. “Just like cars in the 1970s, we need the equivalent of airbags and seatbelts, that have saved millions of lives, to ensure hardware and software operate at the lowest feasible levels and protect billions of children and others using wireless radiating devices that comply with outmoded standards.”

“The FCC is ignoring the recommendation of our nation’s largest organization of children’s doctors—the American Academy of Pediatrics,” EHT Executive Director Theodora Scarato told Law&Crime—noting that the physician-led group “asked the FCC to test phones the way we use them—in positions against the body—and the FCC said it was unnecessary.”

Law&Crime reached out to the FCC for comment and will update this space if we receive one.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Law & Crime, Colin Kalmbacher, 04 Feb 2020

The 'race to 5G' is a myth
USA Created: 7 Feb 2020
Telecommunications providers relentlessly extol the power of fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology. Government officials and policy advocates fret that the winner of the "5G race" will dominate the internet of the future, so America cannot afford to lose out. Pundits declare that 5G will revolutionize the digital world. It all sounds very thrilling. Unfortunately, the hype has gone too far.
5G systems will, over time, replace today's 4G, just as next year's iPhone 12 will improve on this year's 11. 5G networks offer significantly greater transmission capacity. However, despite all the hype, they won't represent a radical break from the current mobile experience.

First of all, the "race to 5G" is a myth. 5G is a marketing term for a family of technologies, which carriers can stretch to cover a variety of networks. The technical standards are still under development, so what counts as "true" 5G is arguable. As with 4G, the 5G rollout will take years, as carriers upgrade their networks with new gear and users buy new phones. Just as they do today, connections will fall back to slower speeds when users aren't near enough to a tower, or if the network is overloaded. There's no magic moment when a carrier, or a nation, "has" 5G.

Even if there was a race, it's over: South Korea and China have already built much more extensive 5G networks than the United States. But that shouldn't be cause for panic. Customers in those countries may have a leg up on faster connections, but that doesn't necessarily create a sustainable strategic advantage. Romania is one of 10 countries with significantly faster average fixed broadband connections than America today, yet no one in Washington seems concerned that will give Romanian firms a dominant advantage. The major tech platforms delivering innovative digital services to the world are still based in the United States and China. There are important concerns about the Chinese networking firm Huawei creating backdoors for surveillance or tilting the carrier equipment market toward Chinese-defined standards. Your 5G user experience, however, won't depend on who makes the gear in the guts of the network.

The overheated rhetoric is based on the misconception that 5G heralds a new era of services for end-users. In reality, the claimed performance — hundreds of megabits or even gigabits per second — is misleading. Averages and ideal numbers mask huge variations depending on distance to an antenna, obstructions, weather and other factors. The fastest speeds require "millimeter wave" spectrum, which doesn't penetrate walls or foliage well, and is generally less reliable than the lower frequencies used today. Millimeter wave requires a much denser network of antennas, which could be cost-prohibitive outside dense urban areas. Even if that hurdle is overcome, a gigabit per second to millions of phones requires a network able to move traffic at that speed end-to-end, which doesn't exist today.

And just what are the applications that need more capacity than 4G offers? We already get crystal-clear video chats, a torrent of TikToks, Pokemon Go augmented reality, and massive Fortnite battles. Yes, every advance in network performance opened up new uses that seemed insignificant before, but the new capabilities of 5G are best suited to non-consumer applications.
If and when fleets of self-driving vehicles communicate constantly with each other or remote robotic surgery is a standard feature in local hospitals, 5G will be a must. But these next-generation "internet of things" scenarios are years in the future, as are the kinds of virtual and augmented reality worlds that appear in science fiction.

The most immediate use of 5G is "network slicing" to rapidly deploy and reconfigure specialized networks for financial, health care and other applications. Enterprises that need quality of service guarantees can access a virtual "slice" of capacity, rather than building a separate network. It's a big deal for carriers and large companies. Not so sexy for ordinary consumers.

When we look back from 2030, the changes in the digital world will be dramatic. The 5G platform will support those changes, just as 2G, 3G, and 4G wireless did in prior decades. However, the heralded innovations of 2019 to 2021 will seem insignificant.
Enjoy your new 5G phone when it arrives. Just don't expect it to bring you to wireless nirvana.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: CNN Business Perspectives, Kevin Werbach, 03 Feb 2020

Objectors fear new 5G phone masts at Brixham could harm rare bats
United Kingdom Created: 7 Feb 2020
People are objecting to two new mobile phone masts for the new 5G network at Brixham because of concerns the radio waves could harm wildlife.

They say the new higher towers will be ugly and have also raised concerns about the effect of the technology on human health.

Nearby Berry Head National Nature Reserve is home to an important colony of the rare greater horseshoe bat, which is protected under planning law.

Objectors are raising concerns that the higher frequency waves used by the new masts could interfere with the bats.

The creatures use echo-location from a high-pitched call to navigate through their surroundings.

The nature reserve also has a population of a rare bird, called the cirl bunting.

Campaigners say there is evidence that 5G radio waves can affect the natural behaviour of animals and insects.

Planning applications have been submitted for replacements masts at two sports grounds - Brixham Athletic Football Club in Wall Park Road, and Brixham Rugby Club at Astley Park off Rea Barn Road.

The Brixham football club plan would see a 17m pole replaced with a 20m tower.

The scheme for the rugby ground is for a 20m tower to replace a 15m pole.

The new 5th Generation mobile phone technology uses higher frequency signals which do not travel as far.

So more base stations are needed and the masts are higher to avoid being blocked by buildings and trees.

Both applications at Brixham are from Mobile Broadband Network Limited, a joint venture between the networks EE and Three.

One objector to the Wall Park Road mast said the site was too close to the Berry Head Nature Reserve and was concerned that the radio waves would affect the birds and bats.

Another said: “5G is a new technology and has the potential to cause immense harm to humans, trees, insects and wildlife.

“I feel it is imperative that the council put safety first and do not allow installations like this to go ahead until such time as it can be determined there are no detrimental effects.”

One objector wrote: “I feel this action, were it to go ahead, would represent a most unforgiving blot on a very beautiful area of Torbay.

“It is not only the health concerns for us all but also for our precious bats and other wildlife, which are simply irreplaceable.”

The agent for the applications says the new masts would provide coverage for the existing 4G and new 5G networks.

Beacon Comms points out that Government planning guidance supports “high quality communications infrastructure” as essential for economic growth, and recommends using existing sites to minimise the number of base stations.

The agent says in a planning statement: “The proposed increase in height is the minimum capable of providing the technological improvements sought.

“It is imperative that support is given to the introduction of 5G technology as this will allow networks to be able to handle more data and connect more devices simultaneously at much faster speeds than is possible using the existing technology.

“This will enable places to remain competitive in and will support the Government’s ambition for the UK to become a world leader in 5G technology.”

Campaigners in Torbay have asked Torbay Council to pause the roll-out of the technology because of health concerns and a petition is due to be presented to the authority at a meeting on Thursday, February 6.

They say 5G technology has not been fully tested and studies on animals have shown a link to health effects including an increased risk of cancer.

They point to research which shows an effect on the navigation of birds and insects.

Public Health England says years of studies of radio waves show the risk of damage to health is unlikely at exposure to levels below internationally agreed limits.

The council says it will listen to local people’s views but it has to work within the national planning framework and public health guidelines.

Local councils cannot refuse a phone mast on health grounds if it is certified to operate within the international safety guidelines used in the UK.

The proposed masts at Brixham would both operate under the limits for radio waves.

In January, Torbay Council’s planning committee refused an application to upgrade a phone mast site for the 5G network at the entrance to the Beverley Holidays park in Goodrington Road, Paignton.

The application on behalf of EE and Three was to replace a 13.5m pole with one 20m high and six replacement cabinets.

Councillors voted against the application because of the visual impact and perception of health effects of the technology which the park owners warned could damage the business.

Base stations are linked to the mobile phone network and use radio waves to carry the signals to and from handsets. Cells overlap to provide a seamless service.

The 5G service was launched in major UK cities in May 2019 and is due to cover Devon this year, promising faster download speeds and the next generation of internet connectivity.

The planning applications will be decided in due course, either by officers using delegated powers or by councillors on the planning committee.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: DevonLive, Edward Oldfield, 06 Feb 2020

Appeals that matter or not on a moratorium on the deployment of the fifth generation, 5G, for microwave radiation
Sweden Created: 29 Jan 2020
In a new article the history of an appeal sent to EU on a moratorium on the deployment of 5G is described. The full article can be found here:

https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/mco.2020.1984

Excerpt:

In an appeal sent to the EU in September, 2017 currently >260 scientists and medical doctors requested for a moratorium on the deployment of 5G until the health risks associated with this new technology have been fully investigated by industry‑independent scientists. The appeal and four rebuttals to the EU over a period of >2 years, have not achieved any positive response from the EU to date. Unfortunately, decision makers seem to be uninformed or even misinformed about the risks. EU officials rely on the opinions of individuals within the ICNIRP and the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR), most of whom have ties to the industry……In this article, the warnings on the health risks associated with RF presented in the 5G appeal and the letters to the EU Health Commissioner since September, 2017 and the authors’ rebuttals are summarized. The responses from the EU seem to have thus far prioritized industry profits to the detriment of human health and the environment.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Lennart Hardell blog, 28 Jan 2020

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