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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Base Station emissions may be over by 2021 –Forum

Emissions from Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) may soon be a thing of the past any time soon from 2021.

This, participants at a recent one-day forum said is anticipated in the next 10 to 15 years given the speed with which Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools are turned out.

Participants at a one-day forum on BTS in Lagos recently organised by eBusiness Life Communication Limited in collaboration with the Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) also agreed that due to advancement in the management and transmission of radio frequency power as base stations will be linked by fibre optics, this dream is attainable.

A communiqué made available to ITRealms Online and endorsed by the chief executive of eBusiness Life, Mrs. Ufuoma ‘Daro, participants at the Forum focused on BTS and its impact on health and environment as there have been arguments and fears by telecoms consumers and indeed the general public about the effects of these BTS on health and environment.

She noted that a school of thought views this as mere communications infrastructure; some others as a means to wealth for land owners and government, but the majority see BTS as a source of health hazard.

According to her, the implication is that operators have difficulty getting land to deploy these very important means of transmission, thereby posing a challenge to provision of quality service.

The forum also recommended the need for the regulatory agency, NCC, to take a proactive stand after due investigation and local research with appropriate health professionals and engineers.

“It was also agreed that enough enlightenment campaign has not been done to assure Nigerians of the safety or otherwise of the infrastructure,” part of the communiqué read, adding that participants believe that the federal government through the Ministry of Communications Technology, the NCC and such organizations as the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), ATCON, ALTON and other stakeholders should be part of forums geared towards enlightening the public.

She pointed out that while participants agreed that there is sufficient claim that radiation emission from other electrical and electronic gadgets such as television sets, handsets, electric power antennas, among others are more than the emission from base stations, they argued that these could be regulated by users, whereas base stations could only be regulated by appropriate government authorities, and should as such be properly monitored.

Participants further agreed that the level of ignorance is still very high, thus NCC should do more awareness campaign and further research on the issue alongside the operating companies.

Additionally, she said that recommendation was made that appropriate funding be provided for media practitioners to carry out campaigns geared towards public enlightenment and research since they have the power of ‘mass information.’

Whereas, the federal government was tasked to put deliberate policies in place to accelerate the deployment of fibre optic links in order to ensure strict compliance as it is seen to be safer, even as the consumer education continues.

Remmy Nweke

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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