Raising awareness & lobbying for safer wireless technology

The erection of a controversial cellphone tower in Weymouth will go ahead, 2degrees says.

At the end of June, residents were told construction of the tower on the corner of Weymouth and Blanes roads would begin on July 16.

But public outcry saw 2degrees agreeing to review the tower’s placement.

After a month of investigating alternative sites suggested at a meeting with residents, the company says it will proceed with the original site.

A letter telling residents of the decision was circulated yesterday.

The letter says the company also consulted further with Auckland Council and that both 2degrees and the council are comfortable with the original site.

“Our decision to proceed with the original plan factors in the need to provide our Weymouth customers with improved coverage, the most effective outcome for the community and the uncertainty of other options,” external communications manager Charlene White says.

“Installing our equipment on an existing light pole means less infrastructure in the community because the other options proposed would have required an extra pole or tower to be erected in the street.”

The company has said residents’ heath and safety will not be at risk because of the tower.

“Our equipment is safe, complying fully with the World Health Organisation and New Zealand Government standards,” Ms White says.

Scientists have been studying the effects of radiowaves on people for more than 50 years, she says, with more than 1400 studies into the effect of radiowaves from mobile phones and mobile phone sites.

“The consensus of international scientific opinion is that mobile phone sites are safe if operated within approved safety standards,” Ms White says.

The company’s mobile sites operate well within the standard developed by an independent panel and are monitored by government agencies, she says.

“In fact, our towers operate at only around 1 per cent (on average) of the level that the World Health Organisation and the New Zealand Government permits.

“The levels of RF signals from cell sites are lower than commonly used household electronics such as wi-fi and cordless phones and use the same technology as baby monitors.”

But the public does not need to take 2degrees’ word on it, Ms White says.

They can find information from government experts on websites for the Ministry for the Environment and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research.

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