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Swiss refuse to back down on 5G radiation standards, hampering rollout

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The Swiss Government has said it will maintain its current radiation safety standards that have been hampering the rollout of 5G in the country.

Over half the population of the country has concerns about the possible effects that non-ionising radiation emanating from 5G masts could have on their health.

In February the Government placed a moratorium on the rollout of the new networking technology while it tried to settle arguments about safe radiation limits.

The country’s burgeoning network is already relatively advanced for Europe with more than 2,000 antennas in place.

But the Swiss environment agency, Bafu, put a stop to that at the end of January while it carried out further testing of the impact of 5G radio waves on people’s health.

While Swiss law is roughly in line with standards across Europe, it has more stringent precautionary measures in certain cases.

“The Federal Council (cabinet) wants to maintain for the time being the applicable (emission) limits to protect the population from non-ionising radiation,” it said in a statement.

A task force set up to look into the concerns has been unable to agree on a firm recommendation and parliament has already rejected two attempts to relax rules on radiation exposure.

Delays in issuing new 5G safety standards had hampered the rollout of the technology a year after a spectrum auction that raised 380 million Swiss francs (£315m).

Switzerland last year launched a monitoring system to assuage concerns about the potential health impact of 5G emissions and smooth the cutting-edge technology’s rollout.

The rollout of the new networks has already been beset by cross-continent disagreement over whether Huawei, one of the most advanced 5G manufacturers, should be allowed to build infrastructure, considering its strong ties to the Chinese State.

In the UK, some Tory backbenchers recently signalled that they would rebel against the party in an attempt to keep the Chinese firm out of the UK’s telecoms networks.

Unfounded conspiracy theories linking the spread of coronavirus to the rollout of 5G networks has also led to attacks on infrastructure, with Ofcom doing its best to shut down media outlets that may help to propagate such theories.

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