Wednesday, March 9, 2011

MRSS student struggles with Wi-Fi / Microwave News / Safe, Cheap, Ultrafast Broadband? / Chile 2007 / Telus seeks / CSD board rejects cell tower / Hamilton pay more for their smart meters

W.E.E.P. News

Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News

9 March 2011

MRSS student struggles with Wi-Fi

A community forum this week will deal with health effects of wireless technology.


A year ago, Amy MacDonald had problems getting out of bed. At 14, her legs were weak, she was fatigued, she had daily migraines, insomnia and it was getting increasingly difficult to focus at school.

Both her schoolwork and her quality of life were suffering.

The dancer, who is now 15, is doing a lot better – but that's after it was discovered there was an electrical transformer directly under her bed.

Amy was diagnosed by naturopathic doctor with electrohypersensitivity, a condition recognized in Europe but not in Canada, that is thought to be caused by wireless routers that emit radio-frequency radiation.

It's not just EHS kids who are vulnerable, said Amy's mother Val, it's all students at school.

"It's like we're all guinea pigs in an experiment," Val said.

But because children are still growing and developing and their cells are dividing, they are particularly vulnerable she added.

A community forum about wireless technology, hosted by Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Michael Sather, will be held on Wednesday evening.

A delegation, led by naturopathic doctor Samantha Boutet, presented their concerns to the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows board of education two weeks ago.

Boutet asked that the school district dedicate one school in the district that would be hardwired and wouldn't have a wireless network and keep a registry of symptoms that children are experiencing at schools with Wi-Fi.

She also asked that parents are able to give "informed consent," so that they understand the potential risks.

"We get used to technology," Val said. "No one wants to get it taken away from them."

The MacDonald family had renovations to their kitchen done two years ago which included putting in new light fixtures after which Amy started experiencing EHS symptoms.

Sometimes, she was so weak in the morning her knees would buckle when she got out of bed, her mother said.

Amy's mother Val took her to their family doctor and a pediatrician, but neither one could identify what was wrong with her.

"I would always be really, really tired and I didn't know why," Amy said.

They then went to see Marc Boutet, a naturopathic doctor who diagnosed her with electrohypersensitivity.

The doctor sent the family home with a body voltage meter, which the family used to measure electricity running through Amy's body in different parts of the house.

In her bedroom, the meter showed her numbers to be extremely high at +8.0 while a normal reading would be +0.1.

The MacDonalds hired a consultant to come and inspect their home, and he discovered the transformer right below her bed.

After the transformer was removed in the summer 2010, Amy started feeling better.

But when she went back to school in the fall, her symptoms started coming back.

That's when they made the connection between the wireless router at school and Amy's health.

Amy is taking three classes outside of school, both online and through home-schooling, which ends up being a lot more work than if she did them at school.

"I barely see my friends at school," she said.

The family is considering sending her to Thomas Haney for some her schooling next year, but because of the open registration, she can remain registered at Maple Ridge Secondary as her main school so that in two years she can graduate with her friends.

Being away from school is not fun for Amy. She misses her friends and finds it awkward to explain her condition and why she has to be away so much.

Board chair Ken Clarkson said he doesn't know much about the issue. Since the delegation presented to the board of education, the board hasn't had time to meet and discuss the issue, he said.

"I think generally that issue is with Health Canada," he said. "It's not a school board issue."

Health Canada states that there is "no convincing scientific evidence" that wireless networks with low levels of radio frequency radiation are dangerous.

While some people are concerned about the potential risks with wireless networks, Clarkson said he received a concern from someone at the other end of the spectrum worried their child would miss out on opportunities without technology in place.

Wi-Fi forum

A community forum about wireless technology and cellphone towers, hosted by MLA Michael Sather, will be held on Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Ridge Meadows Seniors Centre, Room A. The seniors centre is at 12150 224th St.


Microwave News

"Cell Phones Affect Brain Activity." That headline has appeared all over the world since Nora Volkow published a PET scan of a brain lit up by a cell phone last month.

Her colorful graphics, published in the high impact Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), guaranteed Volkow a large and attentive audience.

But all the hoopla shouldn't obscure the fact that for more than a decade many others, notably Peter Achermann's group at the University of Zurich, have shown similar types of radiation-induced changes in the brain as well as much more.

Indeed, in December 2002, exactly the same headline ran in Tages Anzeiger, a widely read Swiss newspaper.

Read the full story at:

Louis Slesin


Cheap, Ultrafast Broadband? Hong Kong Has It

(Note - This is also safe, much better than wireless)
Published: March 5, 2011

HONG KONG residents can enjoy astoundingly fast broadband at an astoundingly low price. It became available last year, when a scrappy company called Hong Kong Broadband Network introduced a new option for its fiber-to-the-home service: a speed of 1,000 megabits a second — known as a "gig" — for less than $26 a month.

Hong Kong's population density helps its broadband companies reach users at low cost. One plan offers 1,000-megabit-a-second speed at $26 a month.

In the United States, we don't have anything close to that. But we could. And we should.

Verizon, the nation's leading provider of fiber-to-the-home service, doesn't offer a gig, or even half that speed. Instead, it markets a "fastest" service that is only 50 megabits a second for downloading and 20 megabits a second for uploading. It costs $144.99 a month. That's one-twentieth the speed of Hong Kong Broadband's service for downloading, for more than five times the price.

One thing working in Hong Kong's favor, of course, is its greater population density, enabling broadband companies to reach multiuser dwellings at a much lower cost. But density is only part of the explanation. The personality of Hong Kong Broadband should be noted, too. A wholly owned subsidiary of City Telecom, it is an aggressive newcomer. It was willing to suffer seven years of losses while building out its fiber network before it turned profitable.

Hong Kong Broadband's principal competitor is an older company, PCCW, which has several other lines of business, including phone, television and mobile. PCCW also offers gigabit service to the home and benefits from the same population density. But PCCW's price is more than twice as much as Hong Kong Broadband's. Despite its low prices, Hong Kong Broadband now operates in the black.

Inexpensive pricing of gigabit broadband is practical in American cities, too. "This is an eminently replicable model," says Benoit Felten, a co-founder of Diffraction Analysis, a consulting business based in Paris. "But not by someone who already owns a network — unless they're willing to scrap the network."

In the United States, costs would come down if several companies shared the financial burden of putting fiber into the ground and then competed on the basis of services built on top of the shared assets. That would bring multiple competitors into the picture, pushing down prices. But it would also require regulatory changes that the Federal Communications Commission has yet to show an appetite for.

Dane Jasper, the chief executive of, an Internet provider based in Santa Rosa, Calif., says that most broadband markets in the United States today are dominated by one phone company and one cable company.

"Why doesn't Verizon offer gigabit service?" Mr. Jasper asks. "Because it doesn't have to."

In its earnings report for the quarter ended Dec. 31, Verizon said its fiber-based Internet service, which serves 12 states and the District of Columbia, was available to 12.8 million premises, an increase of 10 percent from the previous year.

When I asked about its lack of gig service, C. Lincoln Hoewing, Verizon's assistant vice president for Internet and technology issues, said, "We already offer 150 megabits," referring to a tier of fiber-based service that is marketed for $195 a month to small businesses in many of its markets. It "seems to be satisfying demand," he said.

In a follow-up e-mail, a Verizon spokeswoman addressed the company's lack of a gig service by saying that it offers "speeds that exceed what customers can and do use."

As long as a gig is expensive, a lack of customer interest shouldn't be surprising. In October, EPB, the municipal electric utility in Chattanooga, Tenn., introduced a gig option in its fiber-to-the-home Internet services. A spokeswoman said the option, which costs $349.99 a month, currently has only about 20 customers.

It is true that residential customers would now be hard-pressed to fully use anything close to a gig. Uncompressed, broadcast-quality HD video, for example, uses 23 megabits a second.

But it is possible to imagine situations — a doctor's office consultation, say, involving specialists scattered around the country, poring over the patient and her cerebral angiogram simultaneously — where multiple, two-way video feeds could chew up a lot of bandwidth. All parties would need the ultrafast connections. But that level of capacity seems distant because each party needed to make it happen — customers, software developers and Internet providers — is waiting for the others to show up first.

GOOGLE doesn't want to wait. It and are preparing an experimental deployment of gigabit service to 850 faculty and staff homes in a Stanford University subdivision.

Separately, Google plans to select one or several cities where it will offer gigabit service at what it calls "a competitive price" to at least 50,000, and potentially 500,000, people. In a post on the company blog titled "Think Big With a Gig," it says, "We want to see what developers and users can do with ultra-high speeds, whether it's creating new bandwidth-intensive 'killer apps' and services, or other uses we can't yet imagine."

Mr. Jasper of says the history of computing shows us that "no matter how much storage we have or how fast the computing processing speed or network connection speed, applications arise to utilize them."

While companies like Verizon don't seem to be in a rush, that little Hong Kong business is saying: A gig? Sure. Join this grand experiment early. At $26 a month, it's a low-cost ticket to the future.

Randall Stross is an author based in Silicon Valley and a professor of business at San Jose State University. E-mail:



Antenna Mast Removed - Chile 2007

After talking to officials - at the end of this video a large Antenna comes down, and the people sing in celebration



Telus seeks TNRD support for cellphone towers

North Thompson Times

The rationale for waiving public consultation would be because Industry Canada only requires those living within three times the antenna height be consulted ...

(Is this needed in the wilderness?)


CSD board rejects controversial cell tower

Elk Grove Citizen

By Cameron Macdonald - Citizen News Editor A tower that receives cell phone calls from T-Mobile customers will not be installed at Feickert Park. ...


Hydro customers in Hamilton, St. Catharines to pay more for their smart meters

By: The Canadian Press

Posted: 03/8/2011 3:46 PM

TORONTO - Electricity bills will be increasing again in St. Catharines and Hamilton, and this time there's no doubt so-called smart meters are to blame.

The Ontario Energy Board says Horizon Utilities can raise the fee it charges customers to pay for the smart meters to $2.14 per month from the current $1.56.

Horizon, which is the local utility company for 235,000 homes and small businesses in Hamilton and St. Catharines, had wanted to charge $2.45 for the smart meters.

Ontario has spent about $1 billion to install 4.5 million smart meters, which bill customers according to the time of day they use electricity instead of the old system of billing just on total usage.

Local utilities are allowed to pass along the cost of the smart meter program to their customers, and the Energy Board says Horizon was able to justify the higher rate.

Preliminary figures from Hydro One and local utilities in Toronto and Bowmanville show most consumers are paying more for electricity with smart meters than they were under the old system.

The Tories promise to let families turn off the smart meters if they win the Oct. 6 election, while the NDP says the program is a complete failure because it isn't saving money or power.

The Liberal government says the smart meters are needed as part of the modernizing of Ontario's electricity system, and admits electricity prices will jump by 46 per cent over five years.


32 Local Govts Now Oppose "Smart" Meters After Health Complaints

Bay Area Indymedia

On Thursday, the Seaside City Council voted unanimously to outlaw PG&E's wireless 'smart' meter installation within city limits. The city in Monterey County becomes the 30th local government in the state to oppose the wireless meter deployment (WMD).

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