“Adjust the radiation standard so that 5G does not pass Brussels by”

10 February 2021

The N-VA group chair in the Brussels Parliament, Cieltje Van Achter, questioned the Brussels Environment Minister Alain Maron about the roll-out of the 5G network in Brussels. Cieltje Van Achter insists on a realistic change in the radiation standard.

Brussels has a radiation standard of 6 volts per meter. That is 50 times stricter than the limit recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). “The Brussels radiation standard is anchored in an ordinance of 1 March 2007 and is a ticking time bomb under our telecom network,” Cieltje Van Achter says. “Due to increasingly intensive use, the existing 4G network is gradually becoming saturated. This will lead to a slower connection and, in the worst case, to network failure. Under the current radiation standard, the roll-out of 5G in Brussels is already completely out of the question.”

Digging up every street

Brussels Environment Minister Alain Maron (currently) remains committed to the existing radiation standard. He therefore wants to make 5G possible via so-called small cells, small antennas spread across the city, which should make it possible to continue to respect the radiation standard of 6 V/m. “This is completely absurd,” Cieltje Van Achter responds. “To build an adequate network of small cells, each operator has to install about 10,000 new antennas and connect them to a fibre optic network. In practice, this means that almost every street in Brussels will have to be dug up in order to make the necessary connections and that we will have many thousands of antennas in the streetscape. Not to mention the huge additional cost and the significantly higher energy consumption of small cells. It is time for Minister Maron and Ecolo to realise that without an adjustment to the radiation standard, 5G will pass Brussels by.”

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