Page 24 - Forest Row Local November Edition
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24 November 2021 • Forest Row Local
Arbitrary and Capricious
 1996 is a long time ago. Most people in Britain did not have
a computer or a mobile phone then, and even fewer had a router to connect them to the internet. Today it is unusual not to have a mobile phone and computer for every member of the family. If
you have looked into the starry
sky in recent months, you might have caught a glimpse of new shiny satellites floating past, part of the fleets that Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos need to beam their global broadband services to every quarter of the world. Down on Earth, wireless networks continue to spread like brilliant oases feeding an ever growing density
of devices in homes, schools and towns. And yet our wireless safety standards have not changed in 25 years.
There was a recent and remarkable court decision in the USA which also has implications for wireless communications in the UK. In this case, the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) was found
to have been “arbitrary and capricious”. The FCC failed to review adequately the research conducted since the 1996 safety standard standards on wireless technology were set. That’s pretty strong language when criticising the key regulator of communications throughout the USA.
This matters in the UK because
the bodies responsible for setting our standards have taken a very similar line to the FCC. They have not significantly altered their safety standards since 1996. However,
our wireless telecommunications infrastructure and its technology have developed significantly during this time in the home, on the street, in buses, shops and offices.
The deployment of 5G infrastructure continues this tradition of deployment without adequate consideration of the existing body of research or the
changes in how we use of our technology. To suggest that this may be ripe for review is verging on the taboo: our technology seems to be too embedded for us to risk asking the safety question.
There is a considerable body of robust evidence which
By Roger Lyon -
suggests that the prevailing safety standards for wireless technology are inadequate. As
an IT consultant, I am certainly not against technology. It is the life and breath of my business. However, technology needs to
be understood in the light of unbiased knowledge. The history of our wireless safety standards’ development suggests conflicts of interest with telecoms companies’ ambitions.
Following this ruling, there is a growing movement in the USA
to review the wireless safety standards. We should do the same, taking account of the research now available to us. All may be well... but hiding from the research is like driving at night with your lights off. And when was that considered good advice?
If this tickles your public spiritedness to look into the matter and to consider doing something then take a look at the website where you will find – free – links to more information and to folks who are enthusiastic about reviewing the status quo in their different ways.
More free information at
  01342 889 455

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