5G consultation; submissions due by 30 April

5G is the highly touted next generation of wireless communications that is designed to give faster download speeds that what is possible with the 4G network currently available in much of NZ.

 

Unfortunately, moving to a 5G system would entail increased exposure to wireless radiation for most New Zealanders.

 

In fact, the initial stage of the 5G system proposed for NZ would involve a doubling of cellular phone base stations in urban areas of NZ.

 

The second stage of a 5G system in NZ would likely be followed by installation of “small cell” units transmitting in the millimetre wave band.

 

These “small cell” units could be placed every 250 metres in urban areas.

 

If you think that more wireless radiation in the environment would NOT be a good thing – especially considering that most New Zealanders have acceptable access to the internet via the copper landline system, the new fibre optic networks being progressively rolled out around the country and/or the 4G system – NOW is the time to let the government know.

 

Radio Spectrum Management of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and it has called for a consultation on 5G in NZ.

 

(Similar consultations have been taking place in other countries including Australia and the USA.)

 

The consultation period ends at 5 PM on Monday April 30.

 

(Apologies for the horribly short notice.)

 

The consultation discussion document may be downloaded from the link below:

https://www.rsm.govt.nz/projects-auctions/current-projects/preparing-for-5g-in-new-zealand-technical-consultation/5g-spectrum-road-map-discussion-document.pdf/view

How to make a submission

Below you will find a summation of some points of concern in the consultation document.  If you are in agreement with one or more of these points of concern please consider taking 5 minutes to write a submission.

Please email your submission to the email address below:

Radio.Spectrum@mbie.govt.nz

Please use the subject line:  “Preparing for 5G in NZ”.

 

Please note that a submission becomes a public document so consider what information you include.

It is best to put your name and address in the body of the email and write your submission with just your name at the top of the page and attach it to the email as a separate document.

 

There is information below to help you write your own unique submission.

 

If you decide to make a submission, please email through the contact form  at this link http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/ to let Stop Smart Meters NZ know. Thank you.

 

Key points from the Radio Spectrum NZ discussion document include:

 

  • That that existing 4G cellular phone infrastructure is likely to be initially be used as a “control layer” for a planned 5G network and that this is likely to mean a doubling of cellular phone towers in urban areas of NZ.

 

If a doubling of cell phone towers in your town or city (or your closest town or city) is something that would concern you from a health perspective* this is something that you could mention in a submission.

*For example, because you or someone you know are electrosensitive or because of the research showing increased cancer rates in people living close to cellular infrastructure or another reason.

If you would be concerned about the possible impact on property values in your area if more cellular phone towers are built this could be something that you could mention in a submission.

 

  • That frequencies described as “millimetre wave” frequencies are being considered as part of a 5G system for NZ.

 

According to the link below, these frequencies cannot travel more than 250 metres which means that areas where 5G uses millimetre wave frequencies will need to have millimetre wave transmitters every 250 metres or less.

 

http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-massey/news/article.cfm?mnarticle_uuid=2CDCB14D-CEE1-6959-5492-B63AD004AE6D

 

  • That a 5G system in NZ could eventually facilitate 1 million internet connections per square kilometre.

If you think that one million internet connections per square kilometre is ludicrous for a country that has only about 4.5 million people and a low population density, I think most people would agree with you.

The huge number of connections could be used to facilitate what has been called the Internet of Things (IoT) in which allows devices to communicate with each other.

(In his lecture in Auckland in 2013, Don Maisch PhD, an expert on standards for electromagnetic radiation described smart meters as a key component of the IoT – his lecture may be accessed via the following link:  http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/dr-don-maisch-auckland-lecture-now-online/ )

If you think that it is foolish to expose New Zealanders to the health risks of additional wireless infrastructure to facilitate appliances such as domestic fridge talking a smart meter, this is something that you could mention in a submission.

 

  • That multiple 5G networks are being considered for NZ:

Quoting from the discussion document: “New Zealand has sufficient spectrum available for 5G to support the roll out of at least three national networks. All cellular mobile network operators have indicated their desire to build their own 5G network and compete at the infrastructure level.  Given this, there would have to be strong public policy reasons to prevent this occurring.”

If you think that if 5G is instituted in NZ, it would be better for people’s health to have only one 5G network rather than three (if Spark, Vodafone and 2 Degrees all decide to build their own 5G networks) this would be a good thing to mention in a submission.

 

  • That one of the frequencies being considered as part of the 5G system (1400MHz) is already being used by the NZ Police, Chorus and the Airways Corporation.

Can you imagine the expense to the taxpayer of having to replace all NZ police personal radios and vehicular radio etc. systems?  On the face of it, the proposal to use a frequency needed by NZ Police as part of a 5G system is so idiotic that I am surprised it is included on the discussion document.

  • That there are no safety standards in NZ for cellular phones!!!

According to the discussion document NZ has NO safety standards for the cellular phones on the market (but allows the importation of any cellular phone that is compliant with any other countries’ regulations) shows a worrying lack of concern for New Zealanders’ health.

It is especially worrying considering the research linking cellular phone use to brain tumours and the fact that according to the documentary Generations Zapped, there was NO  pre-market safety testing of cellular phones prior to their introduction to the market.

The Spectrum NZ discussion document does NOT suggest that NZ should do its own pre-market testing of cellular phones that are designed to be compatible with the 5G system.

There are already modems in development that are designed to be used in situations where there is both 4G coverage and millimetre wave coverage.)

Cellular phones that are 4G and 5G compatible would therefore potentially expose users to potentially carcinogenic RFR microwave radiation from the 4G system PLUS millimetre waves.

Based on the short wave length of millimeter waves, the main health concerns at this stage – further research is desirable – appear to be potential adverse effects on the skin and the eyes.

If you think that the NZ government should commission safety testing of 5G compatible modems and smart phones and other devices prior to their being marketed in NZ this would be a good point to make in a submission.

If you think that all the test data for 5G compatible phones data should be published on a publicly accessible website, this would be a good point to make in a submission.

 

  • That Radio Spectrum Management is “seeking feedback on whether industry considers 5G antenna will comply with the NESTF.”

The NESTF is the “National Environnental Standard for Telecommunications Facilities”.

 

Under this standard the allowable emissions limit for 5G infrastructure using millimetre waves  (or any frequency in excess of 2 GHz to 300 GHz) is 10 million microwatts per square metre  (10 w/m2).

New Zealand’s standard for devices that produce RFR in the microwave range is already one of the poorest in the world.  In NZ the legal limit for  exposures to this type of radiation under NZS2772.1:1999  is much higher than in many other countries.  (For example, in China, Italy, Russia and Swtizerland, the limit is 10 times lower at 1 w/m2. )

NZ has high legal exposure levels despite the fact that RFR in the microwave range is classified as a possible carcinogen (type 2B) by the World’ Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and despite the fact that NZ has a high cancer rate.

If NZ’s already lax limits for exposure to RFR in the microwave range are revised upwards because the system proposed for 5G would be likely to exceed the current limit, this could have negative impacts on human health.

If you would oppose any increase to the allowable public exposure limit for RFR in the microwave range this would be a good point to include in a submission.

 

What is your overall attitude to 5G?

It may be worth adding to a submission what is your overall attitude to 5G…

For example:

Do you think that 5G is simply unnecessary because internet access in NZ is already acceptable in most ares?

Do you think that NZ should wait to see what health impacts 5G infrastructure and 5G compatible devices may have in other countries where this technology is adopted prior to rushing into adopting what is essential a technology of (at this stage) unproven safety?

Do you think that the cost (to individuals, families and society) of  loss of productivity due to illness and treating potential adverse health effects caused by greater utilisation of wireless technologies could end up outweighing any economic benefits of 5G?

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this document.

 

If you decide to make a submission, please email through the contact form  at this link http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/ to let Stop Smart Meters NZ know.

 

To stay up to date with the smart meter issue (and other issues related to wireless radiation in New Zealand, please sign yourself up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz and/or like and follow the following Facebook pages:

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

 

New Facebook group for New Zealanders who are electrosensitive

A new NZ-based Facebook group has been set up for people in NZ who are electrosensitive.  This is a closed group and is intended as a confidential forum in which people who have developed electrosensitivity can come together and support eachother.

 

The details for the link are below.

 

If you are electrosensitive and would like to join the group, please click on the JOIN button on the left hand side of the page and one of the moderators for the group will be in touch with you once you have answered some questions.

 

Electrosensitive Community NZ on Facebook.

Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/411706965946517/

 

Website editor’s note: Electrosensitivity (ES) is variously also known as electrohypersensitivity (EHS), electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EMS).  People who develop this condition have often been exposed to high levels of electromagnetic fields (for example, from smart meters, living close to cellular phone infrastructure, from using cellular phones etc.)

If you would like to learn more about this condition, the following links of this site have more information:

What is it like to live with electrohypersensitivity (EHS)? One woman’s story

 

A helpful paper on electromagnetic sensitivity by Dr. Mallery-Blythe

Retired CEO speaks out on electrosensitivity

Electrohypersensitivity – a short film by Time magazine free to watch online

 

Thank you for visiting the website of Stop Smart Meters NZ.  If you are interested in smart meters or electromagnetic radiation and health, please sign up to our free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz.

We also have a FB page which is below:

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

Update on “Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill”

Just an update on the “Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill”.  (There is background about the bill that you can read on this website by clicking HERE.)

The submissions on this bill are now available to be read at the link below:

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_74818/tab/submissionsandadvice

The select committee in charge of the bill the Econcomic Development, Science and Innovation (EDSI) committee began hearing verbal submissions on the bill on Thursday March 29.

 

 

 

NB: If you are on Facebook, please consider “liking” and “following” the following pages so that you can get updates on the landline phone  issue and smart meter issues.

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

Interested in the smart meter issue?

Please note that if you would like to receive email updates on the smart meter issue for NZ, you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

International Holistic Cancer Symposium to feature speaker on electromagnetic radiation and cancer

International Holistic Cancer Symposium to feature speaker on electromagnetic radiation and cancer

The International Holistic Cancer Symposium coming up in Auckland on March 24-25m 2018 includes presentations on many aspects of cancer prevention and treatment.

One of the presentations will be by Katherine Smith whose talk will focus on electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and health with special reference to cancer.  Her presentation will also discuss ways to use modern technology more safely to reduce the risks of cancer (and other adverse health effects) associated with some products such as cell phones.

The website for the symposium is

https://holisticcancersymposium.com/

 

Please share this link so that people who are interested learn about this event. Thank you.

 

 

Interested in the smart meter issue or electromagnetic radiation and health issues?

Please note that if you would like to receive email updates on the smart meter issue for NZ, you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

Stop Smart Meters NZ now has a Facebook page which you are invited to like and follow:

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

Landline phone issue; Submissions period extended to March 30

Legislation currently being considered by the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee could mean that many New Zealanders lose access to the copper landline phone system that allows a reliable corded home phone that will work during a power outage as well as a safe, low cost wired internet connection.

(Please click HERE for background information.)

Submissions officially closed on this relevant bill on February 2.

However, from speaking to the Clerk for the select committee, I have learned that Grey Power members have an extension of time to make submissions until March 30.  (This being said, as the committee has had a preliminary meeting on the  telecommunications bill on February 15, so the sooner it receives submissions, the better.)

Grey Power is an organisation that represents New Zealanders aged 50 years and older.  You can learn about Grey Power by clicking HERE it and find out how to become a member if you are eligible by clicking HERE.

 

If you would like to make a submission, please see the link below for information on how to do this.

 

The key message to deliver to the committee is that you oppose any regulation that could end access to the copper phone infrastructure and that you support a 30 year moratorium on removal of copper infrastructure.

 

Save NZ’s landline phones – action needed NOW

 

NB: If you are on Facebook, please consider “liking” and “following” the following pages so that you can get updates on the landline phone  issue and smart meter issues.

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

Interested in the smart meter issue?

Please note that if you would like to receive email updates on the smart meter issue for NZ, you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

Spark plans to force customers from copper to wireless internet

With the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee considering legislation* that could phase out the copper landline infrastructure, an article in C0mputer World from 2016 bears consideration.

(*Please click HERE for details of the legislation and how to make a submission to help save NZ’s copper landline infrastructure.)

The link that shows that Spark plans to force people who are not considered to use “large” amounts of data from copper to wireless (and deprive these customers of a safe hardwired internet access option).

https://www.computerworld.co.nz/article/609604/spark-abandon-copper-fibre-wireless-broadband/

The copper network allows people have a safe, wired low cost internet connection as well as a safe corded home phone that will work even in a power blackout.

Wireless internet connections have the significant disadvantage that wireless modems and routers produce microwave radiation  which is considered to be a possible human carcinogen (Class 2B).

Also,  NZ’s “safety” standards for microwave radiation were largely developed by telecommunications industry personnel and there can be adverse health and biological effects at levels much lower than are allowed under the NZ standard.  (Please click HERE to read more about this issue and access information about potential  health effects from wireless technologies.)

To learn how to make a submission to save NZ’s copper landline infrastructure, please click HERE.

Making a submission can take as little as 5 minutes.

 

 

Website editor’s note:  Feedback from readers who are familiar with any other NZ telecommunications policies would be welcome. You may contact Stop Smart Meters NZ via our online contact form at the link below: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/

 

Thank you for visiting www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

We hope that you will support the new campaign to save copper landline phones infrastructure.

If you are a Grey Power member, you have an extension to write a submissions on this issue until March 30 2018.  please click HERE for details.

These two Facebook pages will be updated with developments on this issue so if you are on FB, please consider following and liking these pages:

 

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

 

 

 

Can you have a corded phone if you have only fibre?

Can you have a corded phone if you have only fibre?

Stop Smart Meters NZ has received a lot of feedback regarding the newsletter on the 2018 legislation that appeared to be designed to phased out access to the copper landline system in at least some parts of New Zealand.

Removal of the copper landline system would mean that people lose access to the safe copper landline based phones that will work whether or not a home has power and also lose access to the low cost internet option that this infrastructure facilitates.

(If you are not already aware of this issue, please read this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/save-nzs-landline-phones-action-needed-now/ )

One of the questions is as follows:

Can you have a corded phone if you have only fibre optics in your home?

The answer to this question is basically yes, but there are a few additional important facts to consider.

Voice Quality

The voice quality over VOIP phones can be poorer than traditional corded landline phones that use the copper phone line network and this may be a problem for people who have hearing deficits and and/or those who are communicating on the phone in a language that is not their mother tongue.

(Please note that the voice quality may vary with the type of phone.  Also, the settings used within a fibre system can impact on voice quality when using a phone with a fibre system.  If you are setting up a fibre based phone and internet system, let your  provider know that good voice quality on the phone is important to you and ask what needs to be done to achieve the highest possible voice quality.)

Options For Safe Corded Phones With Fibre

If you move to a fibre only system your existing corded landline phone may not work as it is probably designed for copper only.

However, in some cases you may be able to use your existing copper landline phone.

Option A

The Residential Gateway installed as part of a fibre system may have a POTS (“Plain Old Telephone Service”) port.  If this is the case, you can plug a normal corded phone into this port as it should work with the same phone that you use with the copper system.

Option B

If the Residential Gateway installed at your home does not have a POTS port*  another option to have a safe corded phone is to buy a device called an ATA (“Analog Telephone Adaptor”) that provides a POTS port into which you can plug in the same type of phone that you use with the copper network.

Option C

You could buy a corded VOIP phone and plug this directly into your Residential Gateway in order to have a safe corded phone. From a quick look online, corded VOIP phones start at around $100 each.

Phones that Connect to the Fibre System Will Fail During a Power Blackout – Unless YOU Buy a Backup System

Another important factor to consider is that a VOIP phone (or any phone that is connected via the Residential Gateway to the fibre system) is dependent on mains electricity to work.  This means that unlike the good old copper landline corded phone system –  which will usually work in a power black out –  a VOIP phone (or any other phone that is connected into the fibre system) will NOT function if you lose power.

NB: If you have a cell phone, don’t count on your cell phone to work if you lose electricity, either, as a local power outage could cut power to cellular phone infrastructure resulting in no cellular phone service.

Options For Maintaining a Working Phone During a Power Blackout

It is possible to buy a component of a fibre system called a UPS  (“Uninterruptible Power Supply”) which acts as a back-up so that your VOIP phone will work during a power black out (provided the local cabinet that runs the fibre system in your area does not itself lose power and/or has adequate battery back up itself) but these are not cheap. One UPS I saw online recommended by a NZ telecommunications company was $380 + GST.  There are less expensive options.

The time that a UPS may be able to keep your phone running before its batteries are drained may be variable; it could be as a little as 10 hours. (Obviously the running time of a UPS system is something that should be investigated prior to deciding what system to buy.)

For those who have appropriate technical expertise, a solar panel could be another option to use as part of  a back-up system for a phone connected to the fibre network.

UPS systems can contain lithium ion batteries which are an explosion risk in the event of a fire.

Conclusion

So, to sum it up you can have a corded landline if you have fibre only but it may you cost more if you have to buy a new phone or an adaptor.  Moreover,  your phone won’t work if you lose power – unless you buy a UPS which is not part of the standard fibre systems being installed so this would represent an extra cost.

(If anyone has information about how long different brands of  UPS have worked during actual power black outs in NZ, please email through our contact form:  http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/ )

In short, a basic corded phone that works through the copper landline system provides an economical and safe home phone that will currently work even if you lose power.  However, if you are in an area from which the copper service is being withdrawn, you should still be able to have a safe corded phone for home use by using one of the options outlined above.

* An example of a Residential Gateway with a POTS port may be seen below

Special issues for people who are electrosensitive

One of the reasons that it is important to maintain access to the copper landline system is that a basic corded home phone that works through the copper landline system is a type of phone that some people who have become electrosensitive can use.

However, a fibre system that includes all hardwired components may be fine for many people who are electrosensitive.

Please see this link for information about how to have a hardwired internet connection via the fibre system at this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/considering-ultrafast-broadband/

More information about electrosensitivity may be found at these links:

A helpful paper on electromagnetic sensitivity by Dr. Mallery-Blythe

Retired CEO speaks out on electrosensitivity

Electrohypersensitivity – a short film by Time magazine free to watch online

What is it like to live with electrohypersensitivity (EHS)? One woman’s story

Thank you for visiting www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

NB: If you are on Facebook, please consider “liking” and “following” the following pages so that you can get updates on the landline phone  issue and smart meter issues.

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

Interested in the smart meter or landline phone issue?

Please note that if you would like to receive email updates on the smart meter issue  for NZ, you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

There is also now a dedicated website for the landline phone issue at www.saveourlandlines.nz

Template submission on “Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill”

Website editor’s note:  The copper lines that are used for landline phones (and the safe hardwired internet access that these line also facilitate) are under threat in NZ.  Please see this LINK for an introduction.

if you would like to make a submission on the issue there is information on how to do this and where to send it that you can read by clicking http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/save-nzs-landline-phones-action-needed-now/.

Below is a template submission that you can use.  Please note that the text in bold italics is designed to edited out when you add your own details to personalise the submission.

 

 

Template submission

 

Your name here

 

“Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill”

 

 

I oppose any change to telecommunications legislation or regulations that could make copper landline phones and/or internet access via the copper landline system unavailable to New Zealanders.

 

The copper landline system is a proven and safe technology that is better for people’s health than wireless systems.

 

[Please add a personal comment here]

 

For example: 

* Is it important to you to keep access to a landline home phone in case of a medical emergency?

* Do you have a friend or relative whose life was saved by being able to make a 111 call from their home phone?

* Are you on a low income and could not afford to replace perfectly good corded home phones and install fibre optic cabling in your home in order to have a corded VOIP phone if the copper landline service were no longer available in your area?

* Are you planning to start a family and want to ensure that you maintain access to a reliable copper landline service so that you can have a safe corded landline phone in your home for use in pregnancy

* Do you have children and want to ensure that you maintain access to a reliable copper landline service so that you can have a safe corded landline phone in your home for their use?

* Are you a business owner who wants to help meet your obligations to workers to provide a safe working environment by having safe copper corded phones available for their use on your premises?

 

The government needs to ensure that regulations are in place to protect access to copper landline phones in New Zealand and ensure that the infrastructure for this service remains well maintained and available at an affordable price.

 

There should be a thirty year moratorium on the removal of copper landline infrastructure.

 

Contractors installing fibre optic cabling in existing homes or buildings should be prohibited from removing internal copper phone wiring so that a dual system remains available for the use of the current (or future) house/building owner or tenant(s).

 

Installation of the copper landline system should be mandated for  new housing areas and new commercial and industrial developments.

 

To reduce the burden of illness on individuals, families and taxpayers, the use of copper landline based corded phones and safe hard wired internet should be encouraged by the government to minimise the avoidable health risks from unnecessary use of cellular phones.  Likewise, the government should encourage the use of hardwired computers for internet access.

 

I would/would not (please delete one of these options depending upon your preference) like to speak to this submission.

 

Yours sincerely,

Your name

 

 

Send your submission (ideally as an attachment) to: edsi@parliament.govt.nz

Include your name, address and contact details in the body of the email.

If you are emailing your submission, please send an email through the Stop Smart Meters NZ contact form to let us know that you have sent a submission.

NB: If you would prefer to write a submission from scratch rather than using a template, please see this link for a “how to” guide   http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/save-nzs-landline-phones-action-needed-now/

 

Thank you for reading this post and for helping retain access to safe landline technology!

Now, please help share this information with others.

 

You can get updates on the landline phone issue by following the Facebook page below:

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

Please share this post widely such as through social media and with friends and family and ask others to make a submission.

A more comprehensive guide to making a submission may be found at this LINK:

Save NZ’s landline phones – action needed NOW

Please also share the links below so that people understand the reasons why maintaining the copper based landline phone system is important: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/new-zealands-emr-regulations-sufficient-protect-public-health/

Reasons to oppose legislation that could reduce access to the copper landline phone system

 

 

 

NB: If you are on Facebook, please consider “liking” and “following” the following pages so that you can get updates on the landline phone  issue and smart meter issues.

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

Interested in the smart meter issue?

Please note that if you would like to receive email updates on the smart meter issue for NZ, you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

Thank you for visiting www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz!

Save NZ’s landline phones – action needed NOW

IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM WEBSITE EDITOR:  If you are a Grey Power member there is still time to make a submission on this bill as members of this organisation have been given a extension until March 30. Please click HERE to learn more.

 

Introduction:

 

1 1 1

 

It’s the number you dial in an emergency and for most New Zealanders it has been a reliable home phone that they have used if they have ever faced a medical emergency or needed to call the Fire Service or the police.

 

Most New Zealanders cannot remember ever having lived without a basic home phone, thanks to the reliable copper-based infrastructure that has been installed all around New Zealand over the course of many, many decades.

 

Now, a new bill threatens continuing access to a copper-based landline home phone and safe, low cost wired internet access for people living in many parts of New Zealand.

 

The “Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill” could result in copper landline services being phased out in areas of New Zealand where fibre optic cables have been installed. If the bill is passed in its current form this bill it would deprive people of the basic home phone service and safe wired internet connection.

 

The entire bill may be read at this link:

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_74818/telecommunications-new-regulatory-framework-amendment

The clause of the bill that proposes to deregulate the copper phone line infrastructure in parts of NZ where fibre optic infrastructure has been installed and could result in copper based infrastructure being phased out is below:

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2017/0293/latest/DLM7393574.html

 

The parliamentary website link that details how to make a submission is below:

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/make-a-submission/document/52SCED_SCF_BILL_74818/telecommunications-new-regulatory-framework-amendment

 

Here is a brief guide to how to make a submission on the bill:

Please take five minutes to make a submission.

 

If you are a Grey Power member you have an extension on the time you have to make a submission until March 30. Please click HERE for details

 

It is extremely important that as many people as possible express their opinions on the importance of maintaining landline phones.

 

  1. Open a new document on your computer, or get some writing paper. Start your document with your name, “Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill”, and “I oppose any change to NZ’s telecommunications regulations that could mean that people who live in areas where fibre optic infrastructure has been installed would lose access to a safe and reliable copper cable based landline phone line and internet access service” or similar words to this effect.

 

  1. You can then write as little or as much as you want, sharing your views about why it is important for people to be able to have access to a copper phone line.

If you would support 30 year moratorium on the removal of copper landline infrastructure, please state this, in your submission.

  1. If you need ideas for your submission many reasons why reasons why copper based phone lines are important for a safe home phone line and inexpensive internet access are listed at this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/reasons-oppose-legislation-reduce-access-copper-landline-phone-system/

 

NB: It is best to write a unique submission (even a short one) as a unique submission will carry more weight with the select committee. 

However, if you are really pressed for time there is a template submission that you can download and personalise from this LINK of the Stop Smart Meters NZ website.

If you do use the template submission, please make it as individual as possible as that it does not appear to be a template submission.

 

If you wish to appear before the Committee to speak to your submission, then state that also. (NB: Speaking before the committee is optional).

 

  1. If you’re emailing your submission, ATTACH your submission document (step 1) to the email, and in the email itself, put the heading: Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill” and your details: Name of Individual / Family / Organisation, Address, Phone, Signature. Don’t put your personal details in the attached submission document as your submission is posted on the government website.

 

Send your submission to: edsi@parliament.govt.nz

If you are emailing your submission, please send an email through the Stop Smart Meters NZ contact form to let us know tat you have sent a submission.

  1. If you’re posting your submission, once you have completed step 1, do a covering letter (separate piece of paper) with the heading “Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill”, and your details: Name of Individual / Family / Organisation, Address, Phone, Signature. Don’t put your personal details on your actual submission (step 1) as your submission is posted on the government website (but not the covering letter)
  2. Post to: Matt Lamb, Committee Secretariat, Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160.

 

Thank you in advance for making a submission!

The closing date for submissions was February 2 but Grey Power members have an extension until March 30. Please click HERE for details.

 

Thank you for reading this post; please share it with others:

Please share this post widely such as through social media and with friends and family and ask others to make a submission.

NB: If you are on Facebook, please consider “liking” and “following” the following page so that you can get updates on the landline phone issue.

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

 

Please also share the links below so that people understand the reasons why maintaining the copper based landline phone system is important:

 

Are New Zealand’s EMR regulations sufficient to protect public health?

Reasons to oppose legislation that could reduce access to the copper landline phone system

 

NB: If you are on Facebook, please consider “liking” and “following” the following pages so that you can get updates on the landline phone  issue and smart meter issues.

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

Interested in the smart meter issue?

Please note that if you would like to receive email updates on the smart meter issue for NZ, you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

 

Reasons to oppose legislation that could reduce access to the copper landline phone system

Ongoing access to a safe copper landline phone and safe wired internet (using the copper landline system) in NZ is currently threatened by new legislation.  (Please see this LINK for details,)

There is now an extension period for submissions are due on the bill until March 30 2018 for Grey Power members.  (Please see this ttp://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/save-nzs-landline-phones-action-needed-now/ for details including information on how to make a submission – it can take as little as five minutes.)

There are many reasons to oppose any legislation that could reduce New Zealander’s access to the safe home phone and internet services provided via the copper landline phone system.  These are listed below.

 

Maintaining New Zealanders’ access to copper based phone lines is important for two main reasons:

 

  • Public Health

  • Equity and Fairness

 

These are detailed below:

 

  • Public health

 

The copper based landline phone infrastructure allows almost everyone in New Zealand to have access to a safe home phone that will work even in a power outage.

The copper based infrastructure allows most people in New Zealand to choose to have an inexpensive corded phone.

Such a phone does not expose the user to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in the microwave range as do cellular phones (or any other sort of wireless phone.)

Access to a safe corded phone is important because use of any type of wireless phone (such as cordless home phone or cellular phone) is associated with increased risk of brain tumours, particularly if wireless phone use begins prior to the age of 20. (http://www.pathophysiologyjournal.com/article/S0928-4680%2814%2900064-9/pdf)

RFR microwave radiation has been classified by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a possible carcinogen (Class 2B) on the basis of increased brain tumour rates in longer term users of wireless phones. http://microwavenews.com/short-takes-archive/iarc-publishes-rf-cancer-reviewhttp://microwavenews.com/short-takes-archive/iarc-publishes-rf-cancer-review

(Babies and children absorb more of the RFR microwave radiation into their brains compared to adults as their skulls are smaller and the bones of their skulls thinner.)

 

The benefits of a safe corded home phone are many and include the following:

 

  • Allowing people to call emergency services if needed. (Cellular phone services cannot be relied upon in a power blackout as the local cellular infrastructure may lose its power source.)

 

  • Allowing people who are home bound due to illness or disability to maintain more frequent contact with friends and relatives thus reducing the social isolation that helps to cause many health issues, including depression.

 

 

  • A corded landline phone may be safely used by almost everyone including most individuals who are electrosensitive who cannot tolerate the microwave radiation from cordless or cellular phones. (Some people who are electrosensitive may not be able to tolerate electromagnetic fields produced by computers or computer screens so having a safe corded phone is particularly important to the community of people who are electrosensitive.)

 

 

Such an inexpensive safe hardwired system provide a safe alternative to wireless based internet options such as wi-fi or cellular phone based systems as the wireless systems expose the user, other household members and neighbours to RFR microwave radiation that has been classified as a possible human carcinogen. (http://microwavenews.com/short-takes-archive/iarc-publishes-rf-cancer-review)

 

Accessing the internet via a hardwired computer (rather than a cellular phone) is better for people who have visual impairments as the larger screen size of the computer allows people to increase the font size to help to compensate for low vision.

 

 

  • Equity and Fairness

 

 

Much of New Zealand’s telephone infrastructure was installed at taxpayers’ expense beginning with the formation of The New Zealand Post and Telegraph Department in the 19 century.  The New Zealand Post Office was responsible for phone lines until telecommunications services were privatised in NZ in 1987. http://www.wordworx.co.nz/Telecommhist.html

 

 

  • A copper based corded landline phone is the safest type of phone (because this type of phone does not emit potentially carcinogenic RFR microwave radiation as do cordless or mobile phones).

 

It would be unfair to deny people who live in areas where fibre optic cabling has been laid to be deprived of the opportunity to continue to use safe copper based corded landline phones give that they are a proven and safe technology.

 

VOIP phones with corded headset could be considered to be an alternative to corded landline phones and VOIP phones will work with a fibre basd system,  They may be an acceptable option for some people. However the VOIP option can have lower voice quality and they may not good for hearing impaired or for people who have to talk on the phone in a language that is not their mother tongue.

 

Corded VOIP phones are also considerably more expensive (at least four times the price) than corded home phones and unlike traditional corded home phones, VOIP phones are dependent on electricity so will not work in a power blackout (unless the fibre system has a special component to to provide backup power in an emergency.

 

VOIP phones contain a lot more electronics than a basic corded home phone and may not be a usable option for people who are electrosensitive.

 

  • Homes and businesses that have a copper based landline infrastructure can use that copper landline to access inexpensive safe hardwired internet services.

 

It is unfair to expect people for whom copper phone line based internet works well for their home or business needs to have to pay extra cost to have fibre optic cabling installed in their home or business (as would be the case if a reliable copper landline service were no longer available in their area.)

(This link shows how easy and inexpensive it is to set up a safe hardwired internet system in a house or other property with copper phone line access: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/an-inexpensive-way-to-hard-wire-an-internet-connection/)

 

  • Making any changes to telecommunications regulations that would be likely to increase the cost of and/or reduce access to safe copper based landline corded phones and safe copper phone line based internet could increase people’s use of wireless phones and wireless internet access devices.  if this were to happem it would likely to increase the numbers of people who are suffering from a diverse range of illnesses caused (at least in part) by exposure to RFR microwave radiation.

 

These health problems can include brain tumours, salivary gland cancers and other cancers at sites of the body exposed to high levels of RFR microwave radiation.  Other problems that have been linked to exposure to RFR microwave radiation include autism and other developmental problems and dementia.

 

https://www.spandidos-publications.com/ijo/46/5/1865

https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/167/4/457/233171

http://stopsmartmeters.org.uk/dr-andrew-goldsworthy-the-biological-effects-of-weak-electromagnetic-fields/

 

Making any decisions about telecommunications infrastructure that could increase the numbers of people who become ill as a result of exposure to RFR microwave radiation (because they assume that the technology would not be on the market if it were not safe and they are unaware of the health risks of their devices) is not fair to the potential victims of this technology.  It is not fair to their families.

 

Neither it is not fair to the taxpayers who have to fund the public health system. It is also unfair to people who require treatment for any other conditions as they may face longer waiting lists.

 

NB: It is unclear if private insurance cover for conditions caused by RFR microwave radiation will continue as a policy from Lloyds of London indicates the company may no longer be prepared to cover these types of injuries.  (See:  https://www.andrewgeller.me/blog/2015/03/25/lloyds-wont-discuss-emf-clause/)

 

Given that learning and behaviour issues can be at least in part caused or exacerbated by exposure to RFR microwave radiation (see: http://www.abcd-studie.nl/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/MGuxens-cell-phone-use-in-pregnancy-problem-behaviour-JECH-2013.pdf and http://www.clearlightventures.com/blog/2014/07/emf-reduction-for-autism.html, any decision that increases exposure to this type of radiation is likely to increase the numbers of children who have these conditions.  In turn, this is likely to mean that more children will require extra support within the education system.

 

This is not fair to teachers (because resources within the education system are already constrained so teachers often have to manage challenging children without support from teacher aides). [Personal communications] Neither is it fair to taxpayers who fund the public education system, nor the parents of children who are adversely affected who may have to pay for extra educational help themselves.

 

 

  • Any change to telecommunications policy that increases people’s use of cellular phones (for example because they no longer have access to a safe copper based landline corded phone) would increase the number of cellular phone infrastructure sites and the negative health and other impacts of these sites.  

 

Research has shown increased cancer risk in people who live closer to cellular phone infrastructure, so regulations that are likely to increase cellular phone use are unfair to people who could develop cancer as a result of new infrastructure being installed in their area. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21741680)

 

Property values close to cellular phone infrastructure sites may be adversely affected so any policy that causes proliferation of these sites is not fair to property owners.

Thank you for reading this post!  Now, please help share this information with others.

Please share this post widely such as through social media and with friends and family and ask others to make a submission.

A guide to making a submission may be found at the link below:

Save NZ’s landline phones – action needed NOW

Please also share the links below so that people understand the reasons why maintaining the copper based landline phone system is important: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/new-zealands-emr-regulations-sufficient-protect-public-health/

 

NB: If you are on Facebook, please consider “liking” and “following” the following pages so that you can get updates on the landline phone  issue and smart meter issues.

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Smart-Meters-NZ-1211462805538548/

Interested in the smart meter issue?

Please note that if you would like to receive email updates on the smart meter (and landline phone) issue for NZ, you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz