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Byron Shire
September 27, 2021

NBN rollout meets resistance in northern rivers

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Some northern rivers residents are concerned that wirelessly delivered broadband will be slower and may potentially cause health problems. (File Pic)
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Darren Coyne

NBN Co has announced a new rollout schedule for the northern rivers but is already meeting stiff opposition in some areas.

Residents in the Barkers Vale area of Kyogle shire, Lillian Rock in Lismore’s council area, and Clothiers Creek in Tweed shire are refusing to sell land for towers to be erected.

They have formed the OREAD project, which is aimed at protecting ‘humans and wildlife’ from the alleged effects of radiation from NBN Co towers.

OREAD founder Annum Luca told Echonetdaily that OREAD had been collating information on the health impacts of radiation, how these emissions affect cellular activity and the formation of blood cells in the bone marrow as well as a other effects on the hormonal system.

Mr Luca said residents from Homeleigh through to Barkers Vale had undertaken full blood counts though health professionals to form a baseline to refer to should towers be erected near them.

‘Any deterioration in the blood through a follow-up test after residents have been exposed to radiation from a tower could be grounds for litigation,’ he said.

NBN Co announced this week that an estimated 33.200 premises would be connected to the network by June 2016.

There are now 26 towers either built or in preparation across Kyogle, Richmond Valley, Lismore, Ballina and Byron local government areas, and two new subdivisions in Wollongbar and Mullumbimby with built-in fibre optic cable.

Several areas that now have NBN fixed wireless towers in the planning phase, include Nimbin, Kyogle, McKees Hill, Whiporie, and Rosebank.

Despite the resistance from some areas, NBN Co said it was committed to bringing fast broadband to all Australians as quickly as possible.

‘Access to fast broadband can provide a range of benefits for homes and businesses such as improved opportunities to work from home, better access to online education tools and more options for on-demand entertainment,’ spokesperson Darren Rudd said.

But Mr Luca said residents were not convinced that towers were the way forward, saying they would deliver dangerous, out-dated technology.

It’s understood that residents residnets along Lillian Rock Road have refused offers by NBN Co to host towers on their land, despite financial incentives understood to amount to $100,000 over a 20-year period.

‘Out of all the areas in the Northern Rivers NBN has admitted we are putting up the most resistance with no one “selling out ” for an NBN tower to radiate the district,’ Mr Luca said.

More information on the new construction schedule is available at nbnco.com.au/rolloutplan



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  1. Interesting how all the rural areas in Byron Shire on priority 2, but all the urban areas are not only by-passed but there is no indication of when NBN will be delivered, Areas such as Bangalow, Byron Bay, Suffolk Park, most of Mullum, and Lennox are completely missed .

    Is this a sop to the National Party voters in our area?

  2. Noooo! I’m in a dead spot in between announced wireless. We are 8km from the node – no internet for us! NBN Co, you are welcome to put a tower up in my yard, I just want some damn internet!

  3. Yes please. We’ve all been living with huge electricity over head for years. There is research, results & limitations to adhere to. Similarly, some decent i/net would be helpful. Far too much nimbyism here. Lets put more effort into proven hazards eg gas extraction.

  4. People have absolutely no idea how dangerous this technology is. Google ‘An Electronic Silent Spring’ for scientific reasons why you should keep the hell as far away as possible – unless you like having tumours, neurological damage, Alzheimers etc. Invest in a Cornet radmeter and check your mobiles, cordless phones and WiFi internet while you are at it. The facts will shock you. We have been duped into a WiFi lifestyle to which we are now addicted and thoroughly in denial about its dangers.

    Not to mention that fibre optics achieve speeds that are 250,000 faster than wireless as they can carry 69,000 times more data than the entire bandwidth delivered by wireless. The only downside is initial cost of set up.

    Speeds quoted for wireless networks are per cell, not per user. The total speed must be divided amongst all the users on that cell. So unless a user has their own personal
    cellular tower, the quoted speeds can never be achieved. For example, if 100 people are sharing a 1Gbps wireless network, they will each only obtain 10Mbps.

    It’s time to speak up and say NO to these towers!


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