CIVIC officials have launched a 'Call for Evidence' on the implementation of 5G connectivity in the Bournemouth conurbation.

BCP Council says it has started the initiative – essentially a public consultation exercise – to help members consider whether further investigations are needed into the rollout of 5G locally.

The UK's second-biggest mobile phone operator O2 has already said it will bring 5G to Bournemouth this year, after announcing a partnership to share masts with Vodafone.

Vodafone is already including Bournemouth in the second phase of its own 5G roll-out, which starts soon.

Bournemouth is among 20 towns and cities to join the network in 2019.

However, dozens of campaigners have now urged BCP Council to carry out an assessment of the potential health impact of 5G technology.

BCP Council overview and scrutiny board chairman Cllr Philip Broadhead said: "We understand residents, businesses and community groups have expressed mixed views in relation to the introduction of 5G connectivity in the area.

“This call for evidence will give those with an interest in this field a forum to bring evidence to the council, where it will enable the board to look in real detail at the balance between the perceived benefits and concerns relating to 5G connectivity.

“The evidence gathered as part of this process will assist the overview and scrutiny board in gaining a full understanding of the issues and public opinion relating to the roll-out of 5G connectivity.

"We strongly encourage anyone who has an interest in this issue to take part.”

The latest 5G technology uses higher frequency radio waves than previous networks, to allow move devices to access the internet at the same time.

But this means radio waves have to travel shorter distances through built up areas, so the network requires more transmitter masts, positioned closer to ground level, than before.

In 2014 the World Health Organization (WHO) said that "no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use."

However, the WHO together with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) does classify all radio frequency radiation as "possibly carcinogenic."

This is because the WHO and IARC says there is evidence that falls short of being conclusive that exposure may cause cancer in humans.

Eating pickled vegetables and using talcum powder are also classed in the same category.

Anyone wishing to take part in the call for evidence can do so in person at the next schedule overview and scrutiny board meeting on September 23. Members of the public wishing to speak at the meeting are asked to submit their intention to do so in writing to by 12noon on Friday, September 20.

Alternatively, people can send written submissions by emailing no later than Monday, October 7.

What will the call for evidence determine?

The council says the purpose of the procedure is to determine:

  • What are the perceived benefits to the area as a result of the implementation of 5G?
  • What are the perceived concerns relating to the implementation of 5G?