Fake 5G news grows in vacuum of factual information
As plans to roll out 5G mobile services around the world gather steam, concerns about the rising tide of pseudo-science objection continues to grow.
Internationally only a handful of countries have already deployed fifth generation (5G) cellular services but dozens more, including New Zealand, are planning deployment in the near future.
However, opposition to 5G technology continues to spread, with Facebook groups popping up in dozens of cities each aimed at putting pressure on local councils to block deployment.
The concerns touted by various groups range from the absurd (that the technology is a mind control agent) through to the ridiculous (that thousands of towers will need to be built in order to bathe the country in electromagnetic radiation) and contain factual inaccuracies glaore yet despite the lack of any measurable impact on human health, they continue to gain momentum.
Part of the problem appears to be in a lack of official response from governments or telcos around the world - presumably based on an aversion to US-style class action legal activity. However, while there are a number of sites that outline the lack of evidence around health impacts, most notably the World Health Organisation (WHO) and locally our own Ministry of Health, there is little active campaigning to support fact-based awareness of 5G services.
Locally the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has inherited the role of overseer for the radio spectrum frequency yet plays almost no part in promoting factual information about any safety concerns. A cursory search of the MBIE website shows no information about the viability of any of the claims made around health and safety.
The Ministry of Health does have a page of information but it's hardly the most accessible of fact packs and hasn't been updated since 2013. The Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor's site has nothing about it at all, and says it has no plans at the moment to get involved.
Even the telco industry body, the Telco Carriers Forum, has nothing supporting 5G services or debunking any of the myths around electro magnetic frequencies.
Apple is rumoured to have three 5G iPhones slated for launch later this year as demand from consumers, presumably those who aren't worried by all the noise, continues apace. Whether the networks will be available to run them remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, Vodafone Group is considering selling off its network of towers to recoup costs. The network would then be run by a third-party company and would be available to other operators as well. Vodafone UK and O2 have announced they will share their UK deployment of 5G sites in order to reduce costs.
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