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What are the risks? Group looking to halt 5G gain some traction

What are the risks? Group looking to halt 5G gain some traction

Thursday 14 March 2019

What are the risks? Group looking to halt 5G gain some traction


A group of people looking to stop the implementation of 5G locally, because they believe it will harm people's health, have gained nearly 300 signatories.

The small petition launched at the start of February, with the aim of postponing the introduction of 5G until more testing on the telecoms technology had been carried out.

5G will essentially be an upgrade to 4G, but it will not be a direct improvement, rather a whole new set of technologies that will see leaps and bounds taken in all sorts of areas, including download speeds, connection speeds and more. All of the local telecoms companies have been working toward implementing 5G on Guernsey alongside the States.

But the woman behind this petition, Jessica Le Page, claims there has been no independent scientific evidence to prove the tech will not pose a threat to people because of the waves it will emit. Much like mobile phones already, 5G will require a number of masts to be erected around the Channel Islands so people can gain access to it. These will emit waves of some form, which the petitioners are concerned will be of major detriment to people's health. 

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Pictured: Mrs Le Page's petition. 

While the States and CICRA, the competition regulatory authority for the telecoms, have previously assured the island the technology is safe, Mrs Le Page said: "What appears to be of most concern to many islanders is if Guernsey were to become the ‘guinea pigs’ for 5G, direct exposure to this untested technology will be completely unavoidable, signals will be penetrating our homes, our schools, our offices – to be clear, there is no off switch, which, given its lack of pretesting, violates our most basic human rights.”

"It would be ignorant to ignore the importance of technological progression in Guernsey, we all want to see our island making waves on the world stage. However, as many agree, nothing is worth the potential, very real risk this technology proposes to our family, our friends and our wider community."

In a statement to Express, Sure clarified that Guernsey would indeed not be the first place on earth using 5G technology. While it is looking to be a front runner in this digital area, other communities are already further down the road of implementation. 

Ian Kelly, CEO of Sure Group, said: “While Sure is planning to bring 5G to Guernsey this year as an initial trial it will not be the first country to adopt the mobile technology and it is likely that the island’s wider 5G deployment will be aligned with the UK’s, as per the States of Guernsey telecommunications policy, which Sure fully supports.

“As with our current mobile network Sure will always adhere to and operate within international health and safety limits, which are regulated and independently verified by Cicra.”

Mrs Le Page argued that the international regulatory body backing 5G is "industry loyal" and that was why an independent review was needed. To read more of Mrs Le Page's and the other petitioner's argument, click here. 

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