Technology

Glastonbury 5G report ‘hijacked by conspiracy theorists’

Last month, the town council of Glastonbury in Somerset published a report calling for a government inquiry into the safety of 5G.

It promised to oppose the rollout of the next-generation mobile networks in the town.

Now, three members of the group that produced the report have told the BBC they resigned because it was taken over by anti-5G activists and “spiritual healers”.

They fear it could lend credibility to conspiracy theories, such as 5G being linked to the spread of coronavirus.

“The whole thing was completely biased from the beginning,” says Mark Swann, one of those who resigned.

“Genuine scientific expertise has been scorned in favour of conspiracy and hearsay,” wrote David Swain in his letter of resignation.

What is 5G?

5G is the next generation of mobile phone technology. It promises faster downloads and increased capacity.

The radio waves involved in 5G – and the previous generation networks – sit on the low frequency end of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Less powerful than visible light, they are not energetic enough to damage cells – unlike radiation at the higher frequency end of the spectrum, which includes the sun’s rays and medical x-rays.

The report, published after a six-month inquiry, said the council would oppose the rollout of 5G, while accepting it had no power to halt it.

Glastonbury’s 5G Advisory Committee was made up of nine councillors, and nine local residents who responded to adverts calling for people with relevant experience to help decide whether 5G was safe.

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