LOCAL NEWS: BCP Council ask, do we want 5G?


After a recent display of public interest, BCP council open formal process to gather views and opinions of residents. 

BCP Council’s Overview & Scrutiny Board is undertaking a ‘Call for Evidence on the implementation of 5G connectivity in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. 

The formal process aims to gather the views and opinions on local residents and conclude whether a full investigation is needed into the matter. 

The council say that all comments are welcomed but would like residents to consider the following two questions:

What are the perceived benefits to the area as a result of implementing 5G?

What are the perceived concerns relating to the implementation of 5G?

So what is 5G connectivity and how will it affect you?

5G is the next step in mobile connectivity, and as it is still in its infancy, its impact, importance and affect is still relatively unknown. However there are some advantages and disadvantages to the network upgrade. 

One of the big appeals for 5G technology is speed. In theory, 5G can offer 1000x the speed of 4G operating at an estimated speed of 10Gbps (Gigabits per second) and peaking at 20Gbps. To put that into perspective, you could download a full HD movie in a matter of seconds. 

The increase in bandwidth by 5G will also mean that there is lower latency. The bandwidth for the 5G network will operate on a frequency between 30Ghz to 300Ghz. Now although this may make your device more responsive, there are concerns surrounding the impact of a higher frequency on the environment and health of the population.

Increased bandwidth means less coverage, so more cell towers. However, these will not be the large unsightly towers we are used to seeing, but a new type called small cell towers. These are low-powered base stations that can be hidden in lampposts or on top of buildings. The more small cell towers means better coverage, so expect to see them installed in mass numbers. These towers will then communicate with each other to form a network so that you don’t lose signal. 

Finally, 5G may present a higher security risk. There is no network or system that is 100% secure however, because the 5G network is designed to work with IoT (Internet of Things) devices there is a greater risk. IoT  devices are any computer or devices that transfer data between themselves without the need for human intervention- for example smart watches, fitness trackers, Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices. Problems with security arise as the threat from hackers increases when they can target multiple devices at one time. 

For people that want to discuss their answers to these questions in person, there will be an overview and scrutiny board meeting on Monday 23rd September, 4-5:30pm at the Council Chamber in Christchurch. If you have any particular points you would like to raise, and would like to speak at the meeting, you must email the council by noon on Friday 20th September, to be considered for a five minute slot. 

For those who wish to share their views online, the council have asked for all comments to be emailed to them before Monday 7th October.

Councillor Philip Broadhead, Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Board, BCP Council, said; “We understand residents, businesses and community groups have expressed mixed views in relation to the introduction of 5G connectivity in the area.

“This call for evidence will give those with an interest in this field a forum to bring evidence to the Council, where it will enable the Board to look in real detail at the balance between the perceived benefits and concerns relating to 5G connectivity.”

For people wishing to express their views in writing, please email 5GEvidence@bcpcouncil.gov.uk no later than Monday 9th October.

For more information visit the BCP website here.



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