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Islands’ phone masts ‘within safe levels’

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PHONE MASTS surveyed in a recent independent audit are all within safe levels.

An iWireless engineer testing emissions. (26432926)

The Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities published the results of the latest independent survey of phone masts across the Channel Islands yesterday.

The 2019 audit was done by iWireless Solutions Ltd and concentrated on sites that had higher readings in the past, new ones, where operators had been added or where there had been major changes.

Engineers visited 29 mast sites across Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark, including six new sites that had no previous measurements. All were within the recommended safe levels set down by the International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection. Of the six surveyed in Guernsey, the highest emissions came from the fish co-op building at Castle Emplacement, but it was still very low, at only 3.144% of the standard and down from 14.5% in 2017.

Tim Ringsdore, director for telecoms at Cicra, said: ‘We are committed to ensuring that all telecoms operators in the Channel Islands remain within the emissions levels set down by government and enshrined in their licences. I am pleased to say that once again the audit has shown all the masts that were surveyed have met those standards. We will continue to monitor emissions levels and remain committed to publishing the results to keep the public and other stakeholders informed.’

The highest reading in Jersey was at Sand Street car park in St Helier, at 18.3% of ICNIRP.

The emission standards are recognised by the World Health Organisation and are used within the EU and other regions as a benchmark against which to measure the safety of radio frequency emissions.

This year, iWireless also surveyed two sites where JT was trialling a 5G test service at 3.5GHz – First Tower Lane in Guernsey and Fort Regent in Jersey. In its report it said it found that the site in Guernsey was not operating at the time of the survey but the one in Jersey was transmitting.

‘The emissions in this band were found to be very low and did not contribute anything significant in the total emission levels.’

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The report said that 5G was likely to lead to a multiplication of small, localised, low-power sites to provide the high data rate services this technology promises to deliver.

‘Responding swiftly to this rapid deployment should help allay public concerns.’

The independent audit also examines safety processes and procedures to ensure compliance with local health and safety legislation.

The results are published on the Competition Authority’s website, www.cicra.gg, where there are interactive maps for each island to allow people to locate individual mast sites and read the relevant report for that location. Copies of the reports can also be obtained free of charge.

Nick Mann

By Nick Mann

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