Telstra has been hit with a formal warning by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for failing to comply with regulations governing the deployment of mobile base stations.
The investigation comes as Telstra ignores growing concerns by Australian residents regarding the technology, while they continue ramping up efforts to capitalise on the next generation rollout.
Telecommunications regulator ACMA has issued Telstra a formal warning for failing to adhere to rules on deploying mobile phone base stations across the country.
An investigation by ACMA, in response to a complaint from a resident, found that Telstra failed to meet the deployment code rules designed to provide a chance for community input on projects:
According to the Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Industry Code, telecommunications companies must provide local councils and communities an opportunity to have their say before setting up mobile phone infrastructure.
The investigation revealed Telstra contravened deployment code rules by:
“Not fully complying with its consultation plan, which required Telstra to contact residents in the immediate vicinity of the base station.
Not sending a letter containing the information to all interested and affected parties; and
Not acknowledging a written complaint within 10 business days of its receipt.”
ACMA Chair, Nerida O’Loughlin, spoke on reasons why the warning was handed down:
‘There is public concern about the roll-out of mobile infrastructure, including small cell base stations, in residential areas.
Telcos must keep affected communities in the loop and consider their feedback when establishing or upgrading mobile phone base stations”.
This is the second action taken by the ACMA in the last six months to ensure mobile carriers comply with mobile phone base station deployment rules.
Telstra has announced they will take steps to avoid such problems occurring in future, including “reviewing its contractor complaints handling procedures and implementing regular training”.
TELSTRA: OUT THE GATE
The warning comes as Telstra have been leading the expanding 5G rollout in Australia, following the race between telecommunications companies beginning in 2018.
The Department of Communications have detailed plans to support a timely rollout of 5G in Australia by 2020, spelling out the road map in their paper, 5G — Enabling the Future Economy.
As a result, Telstra have been installing active 5G technology on hundreds of tower locations across Australia, in anticipation of international spectrum approval by the United Nations.
Currently, there are 488 total active and proposed tower locations for 5G cells across Australia.
This rapid push for supremacy in the 5G consumer race may have backfired, however, as Telstra have failed to follow regulation guidelines by not consulting the public prior to development.
Recently, Telstra launched Australia’s first 5G mobile hotspot, available in 10 regions at the moment, and in the next few months, in around 35 locations.
The government has also convened a 5G working group between industry representatives to work towards a 2020 rollout, with more mobile manufacturers planning to produce phones later in 2019.
This new fork-in-the-road for Telstra represents just one example in a wave of backlash that has begun against 5G technology in Australia.
AUSTRALIA FIGHTING BACK
The complaint against Telstra by residents is symbolic of a wave of actions by passionate Australians who are fighting back against 5G technology by forming numerous community groups.
Australians have been expressing concerns about the dangers of 5G technology, and are backed by experts who have warned of the carcinogenic effects of EMF.
This includes residents who are concerned about sensitive locations of the tower devices, such as proximity to primary schools, hospitals and other public spaces.
Bridget Erica, who lives in Melbourne’s bayside suburb of Elwood, is concerned that the foundation work is being done without public consultation:
“I have written to my local council for advice on their stance on the rollout of 5G, especially since there is a Telstra site with six cell towers located metres away from Elwood Primary School and the community childcare centre where my two-year-old son attends.
ARPANSA claims the radiation is safe because it’s already used in security screening units at airports and police radar guns. This type of answer only heightens my concerns as these types of devices are only used on humans for seconds and minutes at a time.
No one’s sitting under an airport security screen 24/7 for 20 years”.
ARPANSA — safety regulator for the rollout of 5G in Australia — have dismissed concerns by residents by releasing statements urging the public to avoid “misleading information online”.
5G technology will power Australia’s new national ‘smart city’ infrastructure, underpinned by an approaching surveillance model similar to China’s ‘Social Credit System’, and will also sustain the coming cashless society, digital identification grid and biometric monitoring systems.
Given the importance this technology will have in shaping the future of Australia, it is no surprise that Telstra is prepared to break ACMA guidelines to ensure they are the ones to capitalise.
5G rollout set for 2020 in Australia | TOTT News
Suburbs included in Telstra’s 5G hotspot launch | TOTT News
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