WLAN alert! Get your helmets on

Somerset in safety scare over wireless networks

The Register's Wireless LAN Channel

Somerset County Council (SCC) has advised its employees not to install wireless networks in the county's schools and offices until it's carried out a full investigation into the safety of the technology.

Details about the warning remain sketchy since Health and Safety officials at the council were reluctant to discuss the matter until the tests have been completed.

However, in a statement the council told us: "Somerset County Council has a radiation working group looking into the risks of wireless network technology.

"As a precaution, until they have completed their investigation SCC Health & Safety Unit put out a statement recommending that, at the moment, wireless networks should not be installed in the workplace.

"SCC does not want any more [wireless networks] put in until the tests have been completed," it said.
The test results are expected in the next couple of weeks.

The British Educational Technological and Communications Agency (BECTa) - which provides ICT advice and help to teachers - has published an information sheet about wireless networks in schools.

On the issue of safety BECTa said: "There has been a lot of discussion about the health and safety implications of using wireless networks. Given the current focus on the use of mobile phones, this worry is understandable. The latest information seems to indicate that levels of radiation used in wireless networking technologies are significantly lower than levels found in mobile telephones. They also fall within the agreed safety limits suggested by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB). ®

The Register's Wireless LAN Channel

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