Mixed signals in the battle over 5G technology in Brighton and Hove

Brighton and Hove is at the heart of a battle over 5G – fifth generation – wireless technology as business leaders push for a proper digital strategy and health campaigners urge caution.

The conflicting aims surfaced in two sets of official papers this week.

In the first, political and business leaders were asked to approve the Greater Brighton Digital Strategy at a meeting in Shoreham yesterday (Tuesday 15 October). They did.

And today (Wednesday 16 October) a petition “to halt the roll-out of 5G technology” was included in the agenda papers for the next meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council.

When the full council meets at Hove Town Hall next week, members will hear opposition to the spread of 5G mobile technology for the second meeting in a row.

They are urging the council to adopt the “precautionary principle” and not allow 5G infrastructure until is proved to be safe.

The advent of 5G is expected to mean much faster speeds, better connections and more ways of making use of the internet.

Already in Brighton and Hove – home to one of the first 5G testbeds in Britain – tech experts and social care chiefs have been working together in their Digital Health Living Lab.

They have been testing an “internet of things” platform for remotely monitoring temperatures in a sheltered housing scheme.

A report to the Greater Brighton Economic Board said: “The council’s social care staff receive automated notifications if temperatures fall outside of a defined range – a system that proved valuable during the heatwave of summer 2018.”

It also said that progress in the Greater Brighton region was at an early stage in a number of areas while “in others it is among the most advanced in the UK”.

The report added: “There is a need to grasp the opportunity and build a strategic approach that could see Greater Brighton as a leader in digital futures in the UK.”

The digital strategy looks at benefits for businesses, visitors and residents as well as ways to improve shopping, transport and health care.

The report to business, civic and education leaders touched on the physical infrastructure – optical fibre in place of copper and the need for more and better masts.

But the papers published today include minutes from the most recent full council meeting when one member of the public asked about the health risks from “untested” 5G, “enforced by way of smart meters, lampposts, masts and other street furniture”.

The council said that it was relying on the advice of Public Health England and would carry on with its current approach unless and until it was advised to stop by health chiefs.

At the Greater Brighton Economic Board, council leader Nancy Platts said that, while the work was exciting and had great potential, she had concerns about firms that might struggle to afford the technology required to keep up to date.

Councillor Platts said: “We do need to pay attention to small and medium-sized enterprises to make sure they are included in the strategy.

“It is interesting to see the comments around including citizens and their experience but for a lot of older people digital can be a confusing place.

“I wonder if we can pay attention to the equalities element of this, both in terms of how we can bring people with us and breach the growing divide of people who have never accessed technology.”

Councillor Nancy Platts

Dean Orgill, who chairs the Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership, said that it was a great example of what the Greater Brighton board should be doing.

He said that digital innovation was “something that is going to happen anyway” and added: “It is not a ‘nice to have’ for the creative industry. It is an essential to have for all professional sectors.

“We need to think of it now – not in 20 years’ time when it has already happened.”

Alex Bailey, the chief executive of Adur and Worthing councils and a former senior official in Brighton and Hove, has set up a co-ordinating group called Everything Connects.

Mr Bailey said: “This is big stuff. It’s vital stuff. This is like the coming of the railways. Fibre matters (and) what you do with it matters.”

Alex Bailey

He said: “Some of the work that is going on across West Sussex to date is really pretty impressive and we’re not shouting about it yet.

“Fundamentally in terms of getting infrastructure away, there is some cracking work going on. We are very well placed.

“I hear what’s being said about it being ‘pie in the sky’ but this is about ‘pie on plates’.

“We are well positioned and we could be very well positioned if we make the right decisions in the next two years or so.”

Mr Bailey said that when the board next meets in January it needed to look at timescales to implement its digital strategy.

Meanwhile, the 500-plus people who signed the online petition to Brighton and Hove City Council opposing the spread of 5G look unlikely to get the signal that they are hoping for.

  1. bradly Reply

    “pies on plates”! ceramic or paper plates?
    …btw, the bonkers anti-radio/wave camp-whingers with their green fifth columnists will eat their hearts out….

    • Gordy Reply

      Might want to do your homework before lumping the #Stop5G movement in with green fifth columnists like XR. Completely different kettle of fish i.e. genuinely well informed, backed by solid science and legit experts (rather than fraudsters), and genuinely concerned for humanity, society, and the environment.

      Check out the relevant online communities and you find that the former (anti-EMF networks) are highly critical of the latter (communistic/globalist radicals), and the latter have almost nothing to say about 5G at all … that silence really speaks volumes when you look at all the evidence of harm in the scientific literature (across multiple species).

    • Emma Gomez Reply

      sign this appeal https://www.5gspaceappeal.org/the-appeal/

      for information from medical professionals and scientists http://phiremedical.org

  2. Iain Reply

    I don’t get it… 5G will use the same frequencies that Freeview used up and until April of this year. The isle of wight has one of the biggest TV transmitters using these frequencies and no health-related issues, so wheres the facts to back it up.

    • emma Reply

      Iain you can look here for health-related issues from the scientific community and medical professionals https://www.5gspaceappeal.org/the-appeal/


      Cancer is an epidemic of massive proportions.


    • Evidence-based Reply

      Hi Iain. That’s not correct – 5G uses 6GHz to 100GHz and beyond. The point is that it will be emitted at low frequencies from masts and high frequencies from antennas and lampposts, densely placed. The facts are all there if you look at RF-EMR studies on Pub Med. The science is no longer disputed internationally – this is about industry influence on public health bodies, as with tobacco, diesel, lead, asbestos and pesticide. Tech is great, but there need to be restrictions in place – such as cabling wherever possible and tighter guidelines around mast emissions. Several US states have just passed bills on this and 5G has been found illegal under EU law by Danish lawyers. Australian doctors and lawyers have litigated successfully on grounds of assault and had masts removed. When people see masts appearing outside their windows and feeling the neurological effects – which match the science – especially where children are concerned, they will start to realise how serious this is. 3000 people just marched in Bern, because so many are suffering severe symptoms now. 250 experts are raising the alarm – that’s not for no reason.

      • RIch Reply

        This is oly partially correct. Millimeter wave 5G uses the higher frequencies as they offer high capacoty but the transmission range is much less and things building walls can reduce the signal. CUrrently the planning in the UK is mostly not Milimeter Wave, indeed the majot trial for this is in metro areas in the USA. The radiation from 5G in the lower frequencies, longer rnage transmissions is much less than the original 2G GSM phones and a great deal less than the original anlog phones. If you are goign to curtail radio wave radiation lest it cause health issues which have not as yet been proven then we must shit down all Daio and TV transmissions, all police and ems radio communications, all taxis and railway and other radio communications. We also need to resite power lines so there is no possibility of radiation from HT cables. Indeed it might be necessary to remove electricity from some homes which do not offer sufficient shielding. We also need to look at microwave ovens. Not saying we should or should not, just that picking on 5G as it is something the Luddites can stop is the wrong approach. If we are concerned then stop all of it. Problem is proving negativity is much harder than positivity and as yet there is no medical proof.

        • sarah rise Reply

          Hi Rich. That’s true, all those things are problematic. But because 4G masts are already causing health problems and because 5G is so undemocratic in that it adds a lot of emissions to masts in the low-frequency range (penetrate buildings and bodies, nasty effects over time) and will mean a dense peppering of antennas emitting mm waves (shown harmful in studies; not safety-tested) which people will have no power to protest against, 5G seems to have crossed a line. Things were already bad but that wasn’t well known – 5G will mean there is no escape. You can get away from power lines and wifi, but 5G will blanket everyone. This is a terrifying prospect for those with ES, or pregnant women who have read the research. It’s a violation and undemocratic, as there is no opting out of being irradiated. And 5G adds 30-40% more to the existing high levels according to a PACE presentation to the UN. And there is a tonne of medical proof – this is no longer debated by scientists. So it doesn’t make sense not to protest, just because the rest is harmful too. Also 5G has that whole other dystopian side.

  3. Emma Gomez Reply

    The testbeds are not wireless technology if 5g were to be wired it would be a whole different ball game as regards the impact on our health as an entire nation. It is this that needs to be addressed. The industry has opted for wireless 5g technology because it is cheaper and without proof that it is safe for the environment or for your fetus or your pets or your children or for YOU. The industry and the government are putting profit over health for greed and short term gain. It is not sustainable for future generations if in the process of having technology it means they will be sick or unable to have children themselves. Our children are relying on us to do what is right for their health and to ensure that they know that above all we put their right to health above the need to watch a film faster or the need to make a profit. Our health is our wealth and without it we are poor. So do what is right and make a stand for the precautionary principle to be adopted as this is what they have done in Brussels because in their own words “we will not allow our people to be guinea pigs for the telecoms industry” SAY NO TO 5G!

  4. Emma Gomez Reply

    The testbed in Brighton is operating on 4g+ wireless and 5g wired technology. It is not operating outside of the building. 5G wireless technology has not been proven safe neither has 4g or 4g+ How many children are getting cancer in schools with wireless technology and that are close to the masts. The masts outside Woodingdean school read off the scale at over 2.7ghz In the playground at many of these schools and in the classroom close to masts and wireless technology children are subjected to unnaturaly high radiation levels constantly. More and more children are suffering from ADHD type symptoms which are very similar to EMS sympotoms, More and more children are getting cancer. It is not normal for 50% of the nation to get cancer. The latest statistics is that 1 in 2 will get cancer. Its time for true and proper testing to be done on the effects to health that Electro Magnetic Radiation, Electro Magnetic Fields is having on our society at large. The precautionary principle must be adopted prior to any roll out to 5G. Our children are depending on us to act responsibly at this time. Please read PHIRE medical website http://phiremedical.org and please also join the scientific communities appeal to stop 5g roll out until tests show safety. https://www.5gspaceappeal.org/the-appeal/ Itsa the very least we can all do as adults.

  5. Eliza Day Reply

    Relying on PHE goes to the heart of the problem. Industry is leaning on the govt and PHE to make completely misleading statements about 5G safety and mobile radiation safety generally. PHE follow the guidance of ICNIRP, who a)contain PHE members and b) are widely accused of having financial conflicts of interest, despite purported independence. Radiation levels around even the biggest masts are invariably under 1% of ICNIRP limits. Cancer clusters have been found around masts in international studies. 435,000 UK citizens have symptoms of what is known by scientists specialising in the field as ‘microwave sickness.’ If people want 5G, they need to have it cabled. It is wrong, and has been found illegal in other countries, to impose it on the entire population, when 1000s of studies have shown that it is harmful.

    • Philip Ford Reply

      Harmful? That is the mild way of putting it, I picked up my new 5G phone last week, and guess what I have an ICD! I was walking along the high st, and I swear I was having a heart attack, the ne new phone 5G, WI FI all bells etc, was trying to talk to my ICD that is WI FI, that phone was taken from one one pocket, placed in another, and what I certainly would have said was a heart attack ( having had 3 I know!) All of that sensation died away, ok, that’s just me, how many others out there?
      I contacted the mobile company to be told, you done the deal in store, and because of that you can not return it if i had ordered online i would have a returns allowance of 14 days. It is currently with the manufacturer for closer inspection, yet who continues to pay the bill? Muggings here! So 5G is nasty, all 5G for sure devices should have warning labels on the box, not in the box, not that I had any information in my sealed box. But the retailer/phone company continues to sell these quite frankly defective items!

    • Tom Knight Reply

      ‘Modern communications, from our Wi-Fi networks to phones, are firmly rooted around the microwave end of the scale, with frequencies between 300 MHz and 300 GHz. In the scheme of the EM spectrum, these photons are of relatively low frequency and low energy. To put this in perspective, even the lowest energy visible light (wavelength ~700nm) still carries roughly 1430 times the energy of the most energetic microwave photon (wavelength 0.1cm). Microwave radiation is undisputedly non-ionizing, and completely incapable of direct DNA damage.’

    • Tom Knight Reply

      Apropos the 435,000 UK citizens suffering from ‘microwave sickness’.
      THIS is what they are suffering from – ‘the inescapable reality is that there is zero evidence supporting their position. In provocation trials, sufferers have been completely unable to identify when sources of EMR are present. Subjects also reported negative effects even when exposed to fake EM sources. These results have been replicated in a number of trials, strongly suggesting that the illness sufferers feel is psychological rather than physical, and that for some the belief one is allergic to EM radiation is enough to trigger an unpleasant psychosomatic reaction.’
      Stop peddling your nonsense.

  6. Emma Reply

    Id like to know if Mr Bailey believes that the precautionary principle is a law that we should adopt to ensure that the latest science and research is bought into the 5G story or if we should plough ahead and ignore the precautionary principle regardless as to the health and safety implications that having 5G may create.
    Mr Bailey, I get you have a job to do and you have stated the following Mr Bailey said: “This is big stuff. It’s vital stuff. This is like the coming of the railways. Fibre matters (and) what you do with it matters.”

    However, I ask you this: Is making a profit and being the best more important than ensuring the health and safety of your children?

    The Precautionary Principle is defined as follows:
    When human activities may lead to morally unacceptable harm that is scientifically plausible but uncertain, actions shall be taken to avoid or diminish that harm. Morally unacceptable harm refers to harm to humans or the environment that is

    threatening to human life or health, or
    serious and effectively irreversible, or
    inequitable to present or future generations, or
    imposed without adequate consideration of the human rights of those affected.
    The judgement of plausibility should be grounded in scientific analysis. Analysis should be ongoing so that chosen actions are subject to review. Uncertainty may apply to, but need not be limited to, causality or the bounds of the possible harm.
    Actions are interventions that are undertaken before harm occurs that seek to avoid or diminish the harm. Actions should be chosen that are proportional to the seriousness of the potential harm, with consideration of their positive and negative consequences, and with an assessment of the moral implications of both action and inaction. The choice of action should be the result of a participatory process.

    Here is evidence Please read PHIRE medical website http://phiremedical.org and please also join the scientific communities appeal to stop 5g roll out until tests show safety. https://www.5gspaceappeal.org/the-appeal/ Itsa the very least we can all do as adults.

  7. Louise thomas Reply

    Posted in Pub Med – ”An international action plan for the development of 5G networks has started, with a forthcoming increment in devices and density of small cells, and with the future use of millimeter waves (MMW). Preliminary observations showed that MMW increase skin temperature, alter gene expression, promote cellular proliferation and synthesis of proteins linked with oxidative stress, inflammatory and metabolic processes, could generate ocular damages, affect neuro-muscular dynamics. Further studies are needed to better and independently explore the health effects of RF-EMF in general and of MMW in particular. However, available findings seem sufficient to demonstrate the existence of biomedical effects, to invoke the precautionary principle”
    https ://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29402696

  8. Peter Challis Reply

    Not surprised to see all the scaremongering claims from the anti 5G activists. The same unsubstantiated rubbish these groups spouted about overhead power lines, Wi-Fi, Smart meters, 2G, 3G, 4G and will in the future repeat for 6G. The frequencies used are those freed up by this week’s Freeview retuning and we have been bathed in for years from Whitehawk Hill and the initial higher frequencies are the same range as home Wi-Fi. Really pleased the council is stopping taking notice of the misinformation from the foil hat brigades.

    • sarah rise Reply

      This is not logical and ‘foil hat brigade’ is a predictable, uninformed reposte. WiFi, Smart Meters, 2g-4G – all have proven serious harmful health effects as shown in extensive robust studies in the peer-reviewed literature. More and more councillors are taking notice, three US states have passed bills demanding investigations and/or pauses, litigation is being won in Australia and the US, 5G has been found illegal under EU law by Danish lawyers, and 250 scientists have made a formal appeal. Your attempt to discredit the campaigners, who have science on their side, will not work.

  9. Raith Reply

    Humans of Brighton and Hove you know this already: If the telecommunications industry’s plans for 5G come to fruition, no person, no animal, no bird, no insect and no plant on Earth will be able to avoid exposure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to levels of RF radiation that are tens to hundreds of times greater than what exists today, without any possibility of escape anywhere on the planet. These 5G plans threaten to provoke serious, irreversible effects on humans and permanent damage to all of the Earth’s ecosystems.

  10. Tom Flynn Reply

    Trace your way up the chains of protest, and you will find the misinformed/ gullible/easily led crowd being shepherded by those seeking attention, relevance, nutritional remedy sales, book publicity, snake oil remedies.

    Ask them what ‘Proper testing’ they would like to see before they would believe it safe and they rapidly fall apart, gabbling the same prepackaged rhetoric about perceived soaring cancer levels, save the children/bees/birds.

    Precautionary Principle is mentioned – about the only element of fact in here – there is already a factor of 50 built in to the ICNIRP guidelines for public exposure. Power levels from a handset in close proximity are vanishingly small, less still from a base station 10s of meters away. Modern electronics allow the service to work despite these tiny levels of signal.

    The ‘radiation meter’ / faraday screening vendors are laughing all the way to the bank.

  11. Irina Reply

    Before anyone makes a judgement about people who oppose 5G roll-out across the UK without any safety tests, I recommend they read this article, which was published in THE Nation in 2018:
    The articles has links to peer-reviewed studies and other publications.

  12. Pingback: When will Brighton get 5G and is it Safe? – Jolly Explorer

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