Feeds

Moms stand firm against antenna madness

Won't someone think of the children

The essential guide to IT transformation

The American town of Hempstead, Long Island, has decreed that phone masts can't be placed within 1500 feet of children, making coverage nearly impossible.

The restrictions specify a 1500-foot exclusion zone around homes, day-care centres, schools and churches - all the kinds of places where one might want mobile phone coverage. It is claimed that the rules are needed to preserve property values in the region, in order to get round the federal restriction on making allowances based on fanciful health scares.

"The siting of cell towers and antennae ... would adversely impact home values or the character of local neighborhoods" the town supervisor told the Associated Press, though the rules are being hailed as a victory for the local campaign group Moms of Merrick, which clearly put health scares at the centre of its agenda.

Children looking concerned

Either they're depressed about cellphone coverage, or just hate guinea pigs

Not that the Merrick Moms are against cell phones as such. They want decent coverage but they also want to be rid of all those transmitters that appear "in front of our homes overnight" (their emphasis), and "emit radiation 800 feet in every direction". Presumably they'd like fitters to turn up in the day time and put antennas in front of someone else's house - perhaps someone who doesn't have children and is thus of less value to society.

Having had enough of local authorities letting unfounded health concerns block development, the federal authorities passed a law in 1996 that prohibits blocking the construction of cell towers on health grounds. Thus residents are forced to play the property-value card.

This is ironic really, given that in many countries mobile coverage increases property values, with operators proudly painting their masts in bright colours for all to see. But in America and Europe we prefer our masts to fade into the landscape - and operators have adapted.

This won't help the Moms of Merrick, who highlight the hidden cell towers as evidence of the insidious nature of the cell phone companies. That puts the network operators into a lose/lose position - make them obvious and people complain, hide them and you're plotting. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?