The ABC reported earlier this month that residents in NSW have petitioned for the removal of small cell boxes. “In a move that experts say will become more common as Australia prepares itself for the 5G rollout, TPG, in conjunction with China’s Huawei, has begun placing the transmitters — roughly the size of two shoe boxes — on power poles across the suburb of Ryde, in Sydney’s north-west.”
The transmitters will initially be used to boost 4G in suburban areas. Small cell installations are also essential to paving the way for the rollout of 5G. Residents were not given a say in the matter.
In addition to concerns about health effects, security issues are being raised. “Huawei, which is building the small cell boxes on the 4G network for TPG, is banned from taking part in the rollout of 5G mobile infrastructure over national security concerns.” It seems ironic that Huawei will, however, already have a foot in the door!
Community concern about small cell deployments is also being voiced in Victoria.
Moonee Valley City Council, in the inner and middle north-western suburbs of Melbourne, unanimously passed a resolution at its October 2018 meeting that calls for the cumulative impacts of microwave frequency technologies to be assessed. Other items to be actioned included a request that TPG provide written confirmation that it has applied the Precautionary Principle. See page 8 of the Ordinary Council Meeting Minutes for the full details of its TPG Small Cell Installations resolution.
The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), the peak body for Victoria’s 79 councils, also passed a resolution in October regarding small cell installations. Victorian council representatives at the twice-yearly meeting approved a motion that the “MAV call upon the State Government to lead a review of the cumulative impacts of ‘small cell installations’ on the residential community and, in light of the findings of this review, re-consider the appropriate planning referral process for the installation of small cells.”
If, like SSMA, the rollout of wireless transmitters mounted on power poles appals you, make sure that you raise this with your local council, as well as with Federal authorities.