[LINK] Mobile Phone for USO - Was NBN low income scheme

Frank O'Connor francisoconnor3 at bigpond.com
Wed Oct 26 21:27:53 AEDT 2011

1. Mobile phones and cancer. Yeah, I'm cautious with mine, and have had 4 friends die over the last 3 years with glioma. Given that glioma's incidence is usually estimated at 1 in 10000 I must be the unluckiest bloke in the world (and a real Typhoid Mary for my friends), but the one thing all four had in common that I can think of was that they were HUGE mobile users. So, even I take these studies that absolve mobiles from blame with a grain of salt.

That said, if the mobiles were distributed on request, were only free for use during network blackouts (which you've admitted happen rarely) and were otherwise charged for at a higher rate than user owned mobiles for non network-downtime calls then this problem would be obviated.

2. Putting batteries at the node (which run down and need recharging and replacement) probably has many more health and safety issues than mobiles. Whatever type of battery you use has toxicity problems, whatever monitoring technology you use to monitor the battery's charge and state probably has RF problems, whatever replacement/repair/recharge procedures you put in place probably has OHS problems (people are hardly likely to want these puppies to adorn obvious and easily accessible places in their residences are they?). And finally ... how many of Australia's fire alarms have charged batteries working in them as I write ... I'd guess that 20% or better are non functional. Same situation would likely pertain for the batteries installed by the NBN.

My point, Tom is that every solution has its problems, expense and tradeoffs. The trick is to pick the solution with the least problems, expense and tradeoffs.

Again ... Just my 2 cents worth.
On 26/10/2011, at 4:38 PM, Tom Koltai wrote:

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au 
>> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of Frank O'Connor
>> Sent: Wednesday, 26 October 2011 1:22 PM
>> To: Jan Whitaker
>> Cc: link at anu.edu.au
>> Subject: Re: [LINK] NBN low income scheme
>> Agreed,
>> And as I said a few months back, if the NBN wants to provide 
>> an 'always on' guarantee for the phone service then the 
>> cheapest and most convenient way to do this would not be to 
>> install a battery that has to be replaced every few years, it 
>> would be to provide a cheap and basic mobile phone and 
>> charger for NBN users who need same and/or don't have a 
>> mobile of their own. ($50-60 unit cost in Dick Smith ... 
>> probably way less if purchased in bulk with specialised SIM's 
>> keyed to whatever telco the NBN elects to use)
> Um a couple of points. In most of Metropolitan Australia (93% of the
> population), the Power Grid now has very few blackouts necessitating the
> use of Standby or backup power options. 
> In Country areas whwere Brownouts and lightning outages are more
> commonplace, the NBN will be delivered by high frequency microwave.
>> There are smart and stupid ways to guarantee basic phone 
>> service ... and we should look for the cheapest, most 
>> reliable and convenient ones before we recommend huge capital 
>> outlays that may or may not work and which require 
>> maintenance and replacement overheads that are probably not 
>> cost-effective.
> A difficult to solve conundrum.
> Many years ago, a member of this list and one of Australia's eminent
> Journalists, (Stewart Fist) championed the scenario that Mobile Phones
> were a source of possible Cancer causing RF emissions.
> Earlier this year, the WHO suggested that mobile phones were possibly
> carcinogenic to humans, based on an increased risk for glioma, a
> malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.[1]
> Last week, the World Health Organisation decided that the methodology
> used for Testing RF Emissions, i.e.: a 2 metre tall 100+ Kilo Male was
> probably not suitably average in build to use as the testing model.
> (Paper d.o.i. ref and Abstract at [2])
> Possibly anything promoting low frequency penetrating RF emissions now
> conclusively demonstrated to be causal in increased risk of gliomas
> should possibly not be offered as a USO (alternative) by a Government
> organisation. 
> Governments job is generally to protect the population.
> Maybe we could just leave the copper in place.
> References:
> [1] IARC Press Report
> http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2011/pdfs/pr208_E.pdf AND Video:
> (4 videos)
> http://abcnews.go.com/Health/fcc-test-measure-cellphone-radiation-cancer
> -risk-flawed/story?id=14750275 
> [2] Paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21999884 
> Exposure Limits: The underestimation of absorbed cell phone radiation,
> especially in children.
> Gandhi OP, Morgan LL, de Salles AA, Han YY, Herberman RB, Davis DL.
> doi:10.3109/15368378.2011.622827
> Source
> Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah,
> Salt Lake City , Utah , USA.
> Abstract
> The existing cell phone certification process uses a plastic model of
> the head called the Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin (SAM),
> representing the top 10% of U.S. military recruits in 1989 and greatly
> underestimating the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for typical mobile
> phone users, especially children. A superior computer simulation
> certification process has been approved by the Federal Communications
> Commission (FCC) but is not employed to certify cell phones. In the
> United States, the FCC determines maximum allowed exposures. Many
> countries, especially European Union members, use the "guidelines" of
> International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP),
> a non governmental agency. Radiofrequency (RF) exposure to a head
> smaller than SAM will absorb a relatively higher SAR. Also, SAM uses a
> fluid having the average electrical properties of the head that cannot
> indicate differential absorption of specific brain tissue, nor
> absorption in children or smaller adults. The SAR for a 10-year old is
> up to 153% higher than the SAR for the SAM model. When electrical
> properties are considered, a child's head's absorption can be over two
> times greater, and absorption of the skull's bone marrow can be ten
> times greater than adults. Therefore, a new certification process is
> needed that incorporates different modes of use, head sizes, and tissue
> properties. Anatomically based models should be employed in revising
> safety standards for these ubiquitous modern devices and standards
> should be set by accountable, independent groups.
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