5G is once again at the heart of the fray. This Tuesday, June 30, the lawyers of a collective of five hundred citizens have an appointment with those of the four major telecom operators (Orange, SFR, Bouygues, Free) at the Paris tribunal de grande instance.
The collective, led by Côme Girschig, founder of the collective Jeunes ambassadeurs pour le climat, had summoned these companies for interim measures, requesting an expert opinion to verify that the operators have indeed taken measures “ on prevention of risk to human health and the environment “.
5G sparks unprecedented resistance
The argument of the collective, which includes many environmental activists, is that the precautionary principle must apply to 5G. According to him, operators expose the population to a future risk, certainly uncertain, but which cannot be excluded. The collective is based on a pre-report made at the end of 2019 by ANSES (National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Security) where it was noted that ” research data are still scarce »On the new frequencies of 3.5 and 26 GHz used by 5G.
” 3G, which modernized equipment, or 4G, making it possible to go on the Internet with telephones, was seen as advances with only technical and economic challenges., explains Sébastien Soriano, president of Arcep, the sector’s regulatory administrative authority. 5G is seen as a special object, with other challenges. We did not really anticipate this resistance, against which we cannot adopt a “knowing” posture “
While it has not been a problem in public opinion in Asia or the United States, the resistance in Europe is quite massive. In the United Kingdom, since the end of March, nearly 100 relay stations have been set on fire by activists, many of whom have been inspired by conspiracy theories, which enjoyed great vigor during the time of confinement.
The reassuring results of a study by the National Frequency Agency
A study by the National Frequency Agency (ANFR) had produced a study on the experiments allowed via 5G antennas with orientable beams, in the 3.5 GHz band. ANFR experts measured an average level of exposure in the 5G band at 0.06 Volt / meter, with a maximum level of 0.36 V / m, a result far below the legal value, fixed at 61 V / m. These results, which are a priori reassuring, are little listened to by militants hostile to 5G, which agglomerates fears of different orders against it.
” One of the questions posed to 5G is to know what it will be used for, continues Sébastien Soriano. But this question arose twenty years ago when ADSL promised a speed of 2 megabits per second and where we thought we could be satisfied with the few kilobits of the telephone jack. In this sector, the offer precedes the use. “
5G promises individuals that they will be able to download an entire film in a few fractions of a second. But it is in industry, with the connection of objects, that its promises promise to be the most spectacular … and rewarding for public finances. This explains the haste of Agnes Pannier-Runacher, the secretary of state to the Minister of Economy and Finance, to finally put the frequencies up for auction with the four operators. Planned last April, they were postponed from September 10 to 20 because of the pandemic. The state hopes to withdraw 2.17 billion euros.
“Rediscovering the common”
After the victory of several environmental candidates in the municipal elections, the collective approach could find echo. Pierre Hurmic, freshly elected in Bordeaux, had included in its program a moratorium on 5G and a major public consultation on the subject. Two associations, Agir pour l’Environnement and Priartem, have also filed appeals before the Council of State against decrees launching the allocation of 5G frequencies, believing that this allocation violates several environmental protection provisions.
The new generation of mobile telephony therefore arouses unprecedented passions, especially since the equipment manufacturers and operators are suspended from the decision to authorize the use of equipment from the Chinese Huawei, key player in the “smart” antennas of 5G but suspected of collusion with Chinese power. ” It’s no longer possible to think of technology in the sole hands of markets and states, continues Sébastien Soriano. To get out of this dualism, communities are needed, which co-construct these technologies. We have to find some common “