Ofcom gives 3G upgrade thumbs-up
But it'll kill all the bees and then we'll all die!
Ofcom has decided to let 3G networks up their broadcast power, but only by half of what it had proposed: for the sake of 3 rather than the bees.
The death of all bees was predicted by one of the more colourful respondents to Ofcom's consultation on the matter; others were concerned about signal leakage and more general health. But it was 3's fear of being swamped that convinced Ofcom to cap the signal strength at 65dBm, rather than the 68dBm cap the regulator had proposed.
Not that the industry ever asked for a 6dB increase. Vodafone's original pitch, quickly backed by the other operators, only asked that the current cap of 62dBm be upped by 3dB.
Ofcom itself proposed twice that figure to prevent operators asking for another increase in a year or two - not an insignificant change when one remembers that dB is a logarithmic scale.
3 took exception to the doubling, so Ofcom has decided that 65dBm is probably enough to be going on with.
Wireless camera users in the neighbouring frequencies complained that any increase would leak into their patch - in response to which Ofcom points out that the limits on such leakage remain the same, operators will only be able to up the power if they can control the signal too.
Other respondents cited unspecified health concerns, though even at the highest proposed power the public's exposure is well within that considered safe by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.
Leaving us with the risk to the bees: which, we were told by one Andrew Goldsworthy (BSc PhD), would lead to famine and mass starvation along with outbreaks of scurvy causing us to "literally begin to fall apart".
Outside Ofcom's immediate remit one might imagine... sure enough we're told by the regulator that it has "forwarded the relevant responses to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs". ®
Re: bugger it were all F$$Ked then
"anyone seen what RF bursts can do to the bees yet?"
No. Are they resonant at 2100MHz? If so, they're doing better than the iPhone 4...
To borrow a phrase from Mr. Upton Sinclair:
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
I realize that this is a site that created and maintained primarily for the benefit those who work in the communications industry, and that any suggestion that wireless technology is harmful, no matter how well-supported it may be, is therefore extremely likely to be met with derision and mockery by this community. The fact that wireless technology can alter the biology of living systems at the power levels it is typically operated at is difficult to accept even for those of us who don't work in the industry. I can only imagine the kinds of psychological barriers that prevent those who do from objectively considering new information on this topic.
However, I would nonetheless like to point out that there is sound evidence supporting such a claim. Much of it is summarized at:
It should also be pointed out that the idea of RF causing biological effects, even at subthermal power levels (i.e. below those necessary to heat tissue), is not new. Sound supporting evidence has been around for decades. See the following review (from 1972) for details:
International “safety standards” on RF-which only consider thermal effects-reflect the extent to which the wireless industry has been successful at regulatory capture. The ICNIRP standards are not based on an objective review of available data, and their main function is to provide legal and public-relations cover for the telecommunciations industry.
I don’t expect very many of the people reading this comment to be able to comprehend such a statement. I will be a bit surprised if this even gets posted. Nonetheless, the fact remains that every major living system on our small planet is in decline, and that wireless technology is, along with greenhouse gas emissions, chemical pollution, and overpopulation, an important contributing factor. Biology is resilient, but not, perhaps, as resilient as our species is arrogant.
My friend who lives near a mobile mast reminded me of that old film "Carry On Screaming" where Kenneth Williams says in a fiendish voice "Frying Tonight!"
I knew he'd need his tinfoil hat again.