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RA lifts moratorium on 5G

Green light: the Regulatory Authority board of commissioners had now lifted the moratorium to allow 5G technology to be deployed in Bermuda. (Photograph by F Muhammad/Pixabay)

A moratorium on the deployment of 5G technology in Bermuda has been lifted by the Regulatory Authority.

It paves the way for telecom companies with the appropriate licence to roll-out Fifth Generation wireless technology, which allows for faster data speeds than 4G networks used on the island today.

However, 5G technology has attracted debate, with concerns being raised about alleged health impacts from its use of higher frequency microwaves than previous mobile networks.

The RA last year put a moratorium on the deployment of the technology and launched a public consultation.

It has now conducted what it said was an "extensive review process", which included a report from an independent advisory panel.

In the report, the panel concluded that radiation safety science did not support the view that 5G will be harmful to people, or to flora or fauna. The panel recommended the lifting of the moratorium on 5G roll-out.

Among its other recommendations, it said it was important for the RA to develop an effective communications strategy to assist the community in understanding what 5G is and whether it can cause adverse health effects.

The board of commissioners had now lifted the moratorium to allow 5G technology to be deployed in Bermuda.

The RA said: "This decision is based on the compelling benefits that consumers and local and international businesses will reap – such as enhanced mobility, connectivity, reliability, and security, and includes strict safety measures and adherence to Appropriate Safety Standards as referenced by several international standards bodies."

The RA has decided not to deploy real-time monitoring of radio frequency radiation levels from wireless base station networks. Instead it may direct operators to perform regular or periodic surveys. The RA also said it may perform or facilitate such surveys itself.

Where a wireless base station is causing net EMF [electromagnetic field] exposure above "appropriate safety standards", the provider will immediately remedy the situation, according to the RA.

The safety standards, in respect of human exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields, are those published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, or the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.

Click on Related Media for the RA’s 5G final report.

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Published May 16, 2021 at 3:08 pm (Updated May 18, 2021 at 8:16 am)

RA lifts moratorium on 5G

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