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Proximus is halting some 5G deployment to calm health fears

Belgian telco Proximus will halt 5G network deployment in the city of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve to hold a Town Hall to address all health concerns of citizens.

Although the rumours connecting 5G to COVID-19 or the growth of an extra ear might seem preposterous to those in the industry, some members of the general public are harbouring health concerns, and an even smaller proportion are turning to criminal activities to damage infrastructure.

There is no circumstance where vandalism and arson on telecoms equipment is acceptable, neither is physical and verbal abuse to staff, but the industry has left a void in education. This may go some way to explaining why some people believe the absurd and baseless rumours which are being spread by conspiracy theorists and chatroom trolls; the telco industry has never fully explained radio technology, just assumed everyone would be OK with a network upgrade.

This situation is further compounded when it is not immediately obvious why the upgrades are being performed. As it stands, 4G works but the general public has not seen the same data as industry insiders demonstrating the rapid growth in data usage or the limitations of today’s networks. Without these explanations, the soil has been fertilised to allow these ridiculous claims to bed in and grow.

In Belgium, it appears Proximus is addressing the concerns prior to the 5G engine revving through the gears.

“The City of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve has just obtained from Proximus the answer to the question it has been asking since March 31: the deployment of 5G via the antennas present on its territory has been stopped,” a statement on the City’s website said. “The operator has also promised to participate in a public information session, during which he will explain his project to citizens.”

As it stands, the public consultation for the upcoming auction will not be open for citizens to respond to, which has irked city officials somewhat as it is believed the debate should be societal and not just a technical one. That said, hopefully the Town Hall and supplementary documentation will be sufficient to provide enough information to dispel the ludicrous myths, disarm the pseudoscience with facts and remove any faith which has wrongly been placed in the conspiracy theorists.

The spectrum auction itself has been postponed during the COVID-19 outbreak, though we suspect much of the work to deploy a 5G network would also have been delayed. Five applications are in the running for spectrum (Proximus, Telnet, Orange Belgium, Cegeka and Entropia Investments) which will be split into five 40 MHz blocks between the 3.6-3.8 GHz band. The telcos will have to pay €800,000 upfront for a 15-year licence, as well as €420,000 per annum.

The pause on 5G rollout, which was likely slowing due to COVID-19 in any case, should give an opportunity to address the concerns of the general public to ensure the spate of vandalism, which has crept from the UK to the Netherlands, does not spread any further.

Over the last few weeks, there have been a number of arson attacks directed towards 5G infrastructure in both the UK and the Netherlands thanks to a small number of criminals believing the fantasies of false prophets. Celebrities have been effectively endorsing messages from the likes of former-BBC Presenter and current-nutjob David Icke, with a small number of gullible fools drinking the Kool-Aid.

Not only are these actions illegal and monstrously misinformed, the consequences extend to inhibiting emergency services from doing vital work in response to the coronavirus.

However, the Town Hall approach from Proximus here might create a blueprint to follow. The General Public needs to be educated and brought on the 5G journey with everyone else. It cannot just be assumed citizens will just blindly follow the telcos down the virtual trail to the digital economy, hands have to be held and lessons taught.

The only way to disarm the dangerous and idiotic conspiracy theorists is to provide the general public with the correct information to ensure that sensible individuals can make correct decisions. The tinfoil hat army will always be lurking in the delusional corners, but as long as the vast majority realise that the likes of Eamonn Holmes is talking as much sense as a drunken Charlie Sheen, the world will be a harmonious place.

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13 comments

  1. Avatar Andy Tiller 15/04/2020 @ 1:49 pm

    This will likely be seen by conspiracy theorists as ‘proof’ that they are right. The only thing you can do with people who want to believe in a conspiracy theory is starve them of publicity.

    • Avatar Robert 15/04/2020 @ 5:24 pm

      What a bunch of dummies.

  2. Avatar Pascale Freyguss 15/04/2020 @ 4:10 pm

    Electromagnetic radiation has proven effects on living creatures. Do your research on bio resonancy healing for example. Every organ had it’s own resonancy. No matter if the radiation is in ionizing or non-ionizing frequency range, it’s bad for us. Unnatural!
    This is a fact not conspiracy!
    A SMART MOVEMENT FINALLY!! THANKS TO THE TOWN HALL FOR TAKING CARE OF THEIR CITIZENS!!!
    Pandemic also occurred when commercial radio broadcasting started around 1918 or when the radar got deployed.
    And I didn’t apply for 5G coverage in my house. Thank you.

    • Avatar Ryan 16/04/2020 @ 11:21 am

      Well, if that’s the case you should be concerned about your light bulbs,the sun or even the ground has higher levels of fields than radio waves. The soil has thousands of times more harmful radiation and people might as well not touch soil. A banana has ionizing radiation yet people still wat them.

  3. Avatar B 15/04/2020 @ 10:50 pm

    Yikes!

    There are people who are legitimately having health problems with this technology and who are even disabled by it. It’s kinda harsh the bigoted and biased remarks by the author of this hate-paper.

    conspiracy theorists
    backroom trolls
    false prophets
    nutjobs
    gullible fools
    tin foil hat army
    delusional

    that spout:

    ridiculous myths
    pseudoscience

    And why wouldn’t the public be allowed to comment within a public consultation? Not having input will not make any problems with the technology go away. We need to fix them.

    If nothing is done to address the issues, then you run the risk of this technology being stopped all together eventually.

    Use alternative methods until the problems are fixed. If you can’t fix them, find another way. The pubic wants access to the internet and communication, but they don’t want it to hurt them.

    • Avatar Ryan 16/04/2020 @ 11:28 am

      When electricity passes through a wire there is EMF. The computer you use has high amounts of EMF,the lights you have in your house has EMF,even the corded landline in your house has EMF,especially the louder you speak into it. TV and radio signals have been in the air for the past 70 years and no one cares plus they transmit at a high level at several tens of thousands of watts. Yet the same frequencies used for LTE are used for 5G. The earth generates large amounts of EMF as well. The best solution is to stop using electricity and the internet and a dark cave for living. Problem solved.

      • Avatar Wim 01/05/2020 @ 1:46 am

        So basically you are ignoring studies from in example the IEEE where the damage of EMF by 3 and 4G with reference to 5G on humans are already being taken serious for years lol… There is more than nutjobs, david ickes and foilhats out there who have been showing SERIOUS concerns..

        I suggest anyone who actually wishes to read something with value about the topic that doesnt come from the telecom industey itselve to read the following study: ESPECIALLY THE AUTOR OF THIS DISRESPECTFUL

        https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=9016183

      • Avatar Christopher Busby 03/06/2020 @ 3:33 pm

        This is Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation, like radar. There are studies with rats that show it causes cancer. The author of this report is bigoted and uninformed, as are you.

        • Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 04/06/2020 @ 9:17 am

          Boom!

  4. Avatar Andy 16/04/2020 @ 8:45 am

    Fantastic, really pleased that concerns will be addressed and explanations of safety will be given. Providing the health and safety concerns are answered and quantified, this could set a presidence for 5G to be rolled out everywhere.

  5. Avatar mark-elp@live.co.uk 16/04/2020 @ 9:10 am

    Always focusing on the 5g Coronavirus conspiracy and never highlighting the 5g Safety conspiracy. It’s the same in all the press, they make it more about alleged links to Coronavirus in order to help ridicule any legitimate concerns for safety, while they try and dilute real issues such as safety and mm wave technology! What iOS a conspiracy… it is a a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful…! If anybody believes conspiracy’s do not exist in this world, then you can very easily be deemed as a TRUE NUT JOB. not just a nut job… I rest my case 😉

  6. Avatar Nikki Oga 16/04/2020 @ 10:16 pm

    NO TO 5G!!!! PERIOD.
    OPEN YOUR EYES!

  7. Avatar ZAKA Zulu 26/04/2020 @ 4:07 pm

    No 5G, it’s a silent killer and necessary for AI and other evil practices

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