Tuesday 01 December 2020

The rollout of 5G in the Netherlands can continue, judge says

A Dutch courtroom. Photo: Odi Busman

Efforts by anti-5G campaigners to stop the nationwide roll-out of the faster telecommunications system in the Netherlands failed in court on Monday when judges ruled there was no reason to stop the process.

The Dutch state is not acting unlawfully by auctioning off the 5G frequencies and, the court said, the state has also said it will intervene if new insights show there are health risks.

The Stop5GNL campaign group argues that insufficient research had been done into the effects of 5G and research that is available shows significant risks to public health. There have been protests against the roll-out, as well as the coronavirus lockdown and vaccines, in Amsterdam and the Hague in recent months.

The Dutch government will start auctioning off 5G frequencies next month and a working nationwide network is expected by the end of the year.

In January, the public health institute RIVM and the telecoms supervisory body Agentschap Telecom released a report which concluded that radiation from the network was within European limits but said it would continue to monitor the situation.

That was also the conclusion of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, the organisation which determines exposure limits for electromagnetic fields used by devices like cell phones.

Meanwhile, police are investigating a spate of arson attacks on telecom masts throughout the country, the 28th of which took place in Limburg on Sunday night.

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