Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Blast from the past

I saw this article this morning about a proposal from Telecom to install 6 new cellphone antenna the Foxton water tower.

Brought back a lot of memories - my first role at Telecom was running around the country side picking locations for cell-sites. Invariably we got a lot of resistance from people with genuine concerns about the health issues that might be associated with these installations. While people were genuinely freaked out (the unknown does affect people pretty deeply), when you think that these installations put out about as much power as a 1 bar heater, mounted at 20m (or more) above ground, there really isn't much ground for concern.

We did meet some extremely cool people as well. I recall talking to a farmer in Eketahuna about using his hilltop - he was very cagey until we said we would pay a rental and put in place a road up to the site. We got invited in for the best farm lunch ever :)

I remember this site in particular - was a great place to use existing infrastructure (my personal opinion was that the visual effects of sites was much more of an issue than health effects) and had great height for coverage. The primary concern from residents was that the local chicken farm would be somehow affected causing mutations, which would eventually poison the entire community. Council decided to take the offer on and also ended up doing a deal with Vodafone as well. Telecom antennas are on the top.

The reporter is probably the same one - persisted in thinking they were intelligent by using antennae as the plural of antenna. Antennae are on insects. Antennas are used for cellsites.

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