Kamloops 5G

Whats up with 5G in Kamloops?

November 24, 20239 min read

Whats up with 5G in Kamloops?

Read this for the straight facts on 5G in Kamloops...

5G is a somewhat confusing subject, so we're going to break it down for you. There's a lot going on. We'll give you the context you need to understand some of the technology, what the concerns are, then show you what's actually happening in Kamloops and why you should be concerned.

First off, lets clarify "What is 5G":

There are 2 types of 5G spoken about commonly, one is 5Ghz WiFi that you will commonly see on wireless routers in your home, the other is whats known as the 5th Generation Wireless (5G) Network aka the new cell network. These are not the same, but are both referred to as 5G.

5G Wireless Networks operate in 3 different frequency bands, Low, Medium and High. Low and medium are in the same frequency as the existing 4G networks in an area that's known as "Sub 6" - Which stands for Sub 6 Ghz.

Today in Canada all 5G installations are operating in the Low to Medium range under 3.9Ghz, so they would be referred to as Sub 6. In 2024, bandwidth in the 26-28Ghz and 38 Ghz will be auctioned off, and its further being discussed to utilize 64-71Ghz. These bandwidths are all in the high range.  The high range from 24Ghz to 100Ghz is known as millimetre wave. Which parts of the band are used for what purpose is managed by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada ( ISED )  

Controversial Side Note: At 95Ghz is the US Military's 'Active Denial' system which creates a unbearable burning sensation on the skin and eyes. To be clear: this does NOT mean that 5G is a weapon, but does highlight the potential health risks and raises questions about its responsible use.

5th Generation Wireless Networks are being rolled out all over the world to replace to current 4G technology. You may have seen the big ugly antennas going up around Kamloops - These are the new 5G technology.

This is a "MACRO Antenna" at the Telus building on the North Shore (Beside Fun Factor) on Tranquille Rd.

Why use 5G?

5G technology promises to 100x data and internet speeds over the wireless network. Speeds of 100Gbps are often quoted. It's part of a world wide race to be the first 5G enabled country. 5G tech will enable new technologies like IoT (The Internet of Things), self driving cars that communicate with infrastructure in the city, and promises a wireless future where no cords are required. Unfortunately this high bandwitdh technology has some issues.

Signal Propagation

5G signals propagate only 2% as efficiently as the old 4G signals. Due to physics of the electromagnetic energy propagation, the new frequencies are easily distorted and effected by moisture, bad weather, trees, walls etc. This means that antennas must be placed closer together in a grid fashion. This is why you see so many antennas around Kamloops hanging off buildings.

More Power Consumption

Often touted as a green solution to automate the future smart grid, 5G is actually a huge energy hog. Because of increased bandwidth another feature of electromagnetic signals is that the power must be increased. Each Macro Base Station can use as much power as 75 households.   "a 2020 report by the Earth Institute at Columbia University  noted that it could potentially account for up to 20% of all global  electricity consumption by 2030 and 14% of global GHG emissions by 2040."

Possible Health Risks

EMF is known as non-ionizing radiation. There are many studies showing negative effects on human and animal tissues.

The International Commission on non Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is the world wide standard for EMF safety. They put out a document called Guidelines for Limiting Exposure to EMF (100khz to 300 Ghz).  This document serves as the basis for Canadas EMF safety and exposure rules known as Safety Code 6.

Because of the shorter wave length (mmWave) of 5G, the energy from the wave is absorbed in materials where as the old 4G longer waves would pass through. This is especially worrisome as much of 5G energy can be absorbed in the first inch or less of your tissue which has been shown to cause tissue to heat up, cause damage to cells and even been linked to cancers.

To be clear, we have no smoking gun or outstanding proof showing 5G EMF to be bad for humans, but at the same time there is no evidence or long term studies showing it to be safe either because there was no testing done. This was part of the controversy surrounding 5G. There is also plenty of circumstantial and anecdotal evidence to suggest its a hazard.

To get an idea of the health risks associated with EMF, we suggest you open the ICNIRP document and do a CTRL-F search for the word "Tissue"....  Pay attention to results between 3Ghz and 100Ghz

But don't take our word for it, let's see what Health Canada says about it. Here is Health Canada's own assessment on 5G frequencies:

Health Canada 5G Damages Tissue

Translated: its heats up your tissue, may cause a burning sensation (but less than Health Canada thinks is a problem for you)

Big Ugly Towers, Little Ugly Boxes

As was mentioned above, the new 5G signal doesn't propagate very well. This means that it requires many antennas to get the same coverage.  This is accomplished through a MACRO base station, and a network of micro or "Small Cell" towers placed every 100-200m to design a grid type coverage network.

Examples of Telus Small Cells installed on BC Hydro poles on the North Shore.

Macro Cells installed on a building on Tranquille Rd.

Canada Cell Tower Map

Click here for a map of Kamloops cell towers to find them in your neighbourhood.

OK now all the hard sciency reading is done, lets have a look at Kamloops

Barnhartvale has over 50 small cells installed.

Westsyde has over 50 small cells installed from the Halston Bridge to the Westsyde pool.

Aberdeen, Upper Sahali, Pineview and Sagebrush have not yet had the grid network installed, although it is in lower Sahali and downtown.

Schubert drive has been saturated, but Brocklehurst is still mainly 5G free except for a couple of big ugly Macro Towers.

Juniper and Valleyview are saturated.

Speaking with KCSC members, members of the public, and homeowners with the devices pointed directly into their homes - we have yet to find anyone that was contacted by Telus prior to installation.

KCSC has reached out to Telus and been told verbally:

1. The small cells are operating as "cell signal boosters" right now and the 5G network has not been turned on yet

2. The plan to place 5G small cells everywhere in a grid fashion just like Barnhartvale, Juniper, Schubert Drive etc

3. Installations will continue

4. The small cell equipment is Huaweii brand

So why should you be concerned?

Well for starters the health effects; nobody really knows what the long term health effects of this technology are. Even Health Canada admits these frequencies cause your tissue to vibrate and heat up, but they seem to be comfortable with it heating your skin up (just a a bit) Also, this tech is not at all comparable to 4G cell tech, its much higher power, and will surround us inside buildings, in our homes, at work. There are a very serious and credible questions regarding the safety that need to be addressed. Once the new 5G grid is turned on your body will be saturated with high frequency EMF 24 hours a day.

Secondly, building out this 5G grid network enables new technologies like the internet of things (IoT). The Internet of Things refers to the rapidly growing network of  connected objects that are able to collect and exchange data in real  time using embedded sensors. Thermostats, cars, lights, refrigerators,  and more appliances can all be connected to the IoT. So this brings into question privacy, data ownership, concerns of hacking, spying and concentration of control of devices making one large fragile system. This is the plan for the future, are you OK with your refrigerator spying on you?

So now what?

Before you do or say anything, you need some more information - the ISED regulates wireless signals, and that is done at a federal level. The City of Kamloops, the employees, and the city council, as far as we know, have no say in what Telus installs because its federal jurisdiction.  There are private agreements between BC Hydro, and other property owners for Telus to install the devices.

There is also the following policy that dictates how wireless companies should go about community engagement and installation of their equipment.  Have a read of the CPC-2-0-03 to understand how Telus should be interacting with the community.

In Summary

5G is new technology. It hasn't been tested or proven safe in the way that is about to be deployed in Kamloops. Health Canada admits it causes body tissue to heat up like a microwave and can cause discomfort and burning sensations. Telus will eventually install hundreds more cell towers in Kamloops leaving Kamloops residents awash in unwanted and unnecessary EMF radiation.

KCSC Opinion on 5G Installations:

Writing an article on 5G can be as short or as long as you want it. Each topic within this article could be expanded into pages long discussion.  With the caveat we've only just scratched the surface on this topic, based on the current evidence, risks and knowledge KCSC believes:

1. 5G in Kamloops isn't necessary

2. There serious unanswered health risk questions

3. The community should be involved, be informed, have the final say on whether this tech is installed or not.

KCSC Recommendations

1. Local Government should be advocating in line with their Strategic Plan on behalf of Kamloops residents for Health safety and Quality of Life.  KCSC recommends Mayor and the Council write a letter to Telus, the ISED, and the CRTC and other relevant levels of government to demand a halt further installation of this 5G equipment until it is proven to be safe.

2. Arrange for Telus to explain the equipment they are installing, its intended use, frequency range and power levels

3. Have Telus contract for an unbiased 3rd party company to conduct baseline EMF signal level surveys around Kamloops and publicly post the data on the City of Kamloops website,

4. City of Kamloops oversee private signal strength testing around installed 5G antennas periodically and publicly report the data to ensure levels are within healthy ranges.

KCSC supports the transparent and responsible use of new technologies, and advocates for education and community stakeholder engagement on these issues.

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