University bans wi-fi over health fears

Fixed internet is the way forward...
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

Fixed internet is the way forward...

A Canadian university has announced it is limiting wi-fi on campus due to "health and security" fears.

The president of Lakehead University, Fred Gilbert, recently took the decision to use wired internet connections rather than wi-fi as he believes health risks associated with the technology are yet to be entirely disproved.

Gilbert reportedly said while he remains president of the university, the college will not adopt wi-fi - citing the existence of studies which have shown the electromagnetic forces used in wi-fi may be carcinogenic in animals.

However, the university denied its students will suffer as a result of the lack of wi-fi. "There are many internet café locations, and formal and informal settings on campus, with hardwired hook-ups where students can use university computers and enjoy specialised software and secure communications," it said in a statement.

The university, in Ontario, will continue to look into the potential of wi-fi, according to the statement. "The university will continue to monitor research on wireless technology on an ongoing basis and, at an appropriate time, re-evaluate the university's current position on this issue," it said.

The potential risks of the wireless technology were also an issue for the City of London's rollout of wi-fi across the Square Mile.

Peter Bennett, deputy city surveyor, told silicon.com the City had evaluated the risks but did not believe them to be significant. "The health issue and the potential risks were considered. No one can be sanguine when creating wireless networks but we were satisfied there is far less risk in the network we are creating than in many existing radio networks operating in the City."

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