Petition aims to block roll-out of 5G in Spartanburg


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) — A petition to prevent the roll-out of 5G in Spartanburg until further studies are done on its impacts continues to challenge the city one week after an ordinance regulating the tech was passed. 

The new wireless technology will provide significantly faster speeds than 4G. 

But, there’s a catch. 

“It’s short distance, so every 500 feet or so you would have to have a box,” Alex Hy, manager and tech lead at Staymobile. “So if you’re not in range or you’re blocked by a brick wall or something, you’ll lose 5G coverage.”

The quantity of boxes and the frequency emitted by 5G units is the reason behind the petition. 

Concerns have arisen over potential health and environmental impacts the novel frequency may pose. 

“The wavelengths are much faster, much higher,” said Emily Brock. “It works as a mesh, a lower to the ground form of radiation output.”

Brock has been at the forefront of advancing the petition for the past 9 months.

After doing personal research, she said, she believes the frequency emitted by 5G units is harmful to insects and wildlife.

Also in question is the aesthetics of the units, which can be up to 28 cubic feet in size under federal regulation.  

Last week, the city passed an ordinance regulating how 5G units will be implemented in Spartanburg. 

It deals with aesthetics and placement. 

“We are working closely — or trying to work closely — with providers to make those as sleek, as unobtrusive, as stealth as possible,” said city attorney Bob Coler.

As for the petition, the city said there is little to be done to address residents’ concerns.

“Federal law regulates the telecommunications industry and it is abundantly clear to us that cities cannot prohibit the implementation of any telecommunication facility,” Coler said.

Brock told 7 News on Monday she plans to take her concerns over the impacts of 5G to the state level.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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