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SPEAK OUT: Extra Cell Towers for Inauguration—Useful or Overload?

Is it just keeping up with the times, or another invasion of wireless technology?

For the upcoming presidential inauguration, a number of additional pieces of equipment are being installed in and around the National Mall to handle the expected increase in wireless traffic from advanced smartphones and tablets.

While the equipment will allow attendees to update their Facebook statuses, tweet and upload images to Pinterest, it also means that there could be more opportunities for hackers to intercept communications from unwary revelers.

The National Federation of Independent Business offers some tips on its website for keeping your mobile data safe.

We want to know: Do you think the additional cell towers and equipment are needed to keep us up-to-date with recent technologies and forms of communication, or are they an invasion of wireless technology?

Jenni Pompi (Editor) January 15, 2013 at 04:15 PM
I know a lot of people ONLY use cell phones now, and have no landline. I can understand why they would want additional cell phone towers if there is expected to be a dramatic increase in use during the inauguration.
Todd Jasper January 15, 2013 at 04:27 PM
The "cell towers" are all portables and are temporary. The same technology (called Cell on Wheels--or COWS) is used after disasters that destroy cell phone capacity. Even though fewer people are expected at the inauguration, based on the last inauguration, additional cell phone capacity was needed. This added capacity is not just necessary for tourists (especially if they need to call 911 to report an emergency or other suspicious package/person/circumstances) but also for public safety professionals during the inauguration. It may be hard to believe, but with all the police officers and first responders working on the day of the inauguration, every available radio will be in use. It is likely that many first responders (who would normally have a radio) won't be issued a radio during the inauguration and will have to rely on their cell phones to communicate within their chain of command. Bringing in the extra cell phone capacity shouldn't be viewed as an "invasion" but rather a necessary element of public safety. It is much better for us to temporarily have a surplus of cell phone capacity and not use it rather than to have too little capacity and put people's lives in danger. In this case, the FCC and Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments made a very smart decision to err on the side of caution.
MaryJane January 16, 2013 at 02:31 AM
Safety is key! I completely understand the need for people to get help. However these towers will be dousing the crowd with microwave radiation- a Class 2 B carcinogen. http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2011/pdfs/pr208_E.pdf IARC CLASSIFIES RADIOFREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS AS POSSIBLY CARCINOGENIC TO HUMANS Has the FCC clarified the levels these towers will be emitting?
MaryJane January 16, 2013 at 02:39 AM
Ellie Marks, Director of the California Brain Tumor Association wrote an eloquent letter to President Obama. "We do not advocate against the use of this valuable technology. We do advocate that our government should step to the plate, as many other nations have, and advise their citizens of the hidden language in the cell phone manuals, the excellent independent science and ways to protect themselves and their children as to safe use of this ubiquitous device. Some countries have banned the sales and use of cell phones to those under 18. " Here is the link , scroll to midway down the page http://weepnews.blogspot.com/2013/01/wifi-in-schools-facts-magnetic-helmet.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FFAZOH+%28WEEP+News%29
MaryJane January 16, 2013 at 02:39 AM
the microwaves sent off from cell towers and your cell phones has been associated with brain cancer, oxidative stress, decreased immune function, increased blood brain barrier permeability, damage to DNA and genes, effects on memory, learning, behavior, attention; sleep disruption and and neurological diseases like Alzheimer's disease. Here is a link to a report by 29 independent scientists and health experts from around the world* about possible risks from wireless technologies and electromagnetic fields. http://www.bioinitiative.org/
MaryJane January 16, 2013 at 09:22 PM
Today President Obama took brave action and stated "This is our first task as a society: keeping our children safe. " Indeed it is. Then it is time to look at electromagnetic fields and the safety of children. “The AAP strongly supports H.R. 6358′s emphasis on examining the effects of radiofrequency (RF) energy on vulnerable populations, including children and pregnant women. In addition, we are pleased that the bill would require the consideration of those effects when developing maximum exposure standards. Children are disproportionately affected by environmental exposures, including cell phone radiation. The differences in bone density and the amount of fluid in a child’s brain compared to an adult’s brain could allow children to absorb greater quantities of RF energy deeper into their brains than adults,” wrote AAP President Thomas K. McInerny, MD, FAAP.

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