WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

Digicel Responds To Antenna Concerns

Digicel RespondsAntigua St John's - Digicel has responded to questions about its role in the proliferation of cell phone antennas and towers, and their potential health risk.

The company maintains that it has taken all necessary precautions to ensure that none of its 30 antennas are placed near schools, hospitals, or medical centres.

According to Marketing Manager Troy Byrne, all of the company’s antennas were erected in accordance with regulations defined by the International Radiation Protection Association’s International Non-Ionizing Radiation Committee (IRPA/INIRC) for limiting exposure to electromagnetic fields.

Digicel followed this path in the absence of government regulations.

“These guidelines were developed in association with the Environmental Health Organization of the World Health Organization (WHO),” Byrne said.

Before erecting a tower or antenna, he said the company first looks at the location and size of the area that requires network coverage.

“It’s about balancing the equation of minimizing the proximity to the public without compromising the service offering to customers,” he said.

He added that the company also considers several factors “such as the location of the tower; its proximity to other Digicel sites; the height of tower/rooftop and the height above sea level – as well as the distance to areas of population where coverage is required.”


These same considerations are employed to determine the signal strength emitted from each tower.

While Digicel may hold 30 of the almost 100 cell sites – 24 of which are towers – it has engaged other local mobile providers about sharing towers, with some success.

“In fact, Digicel actively pursues tower sharing where possible," Byrne said. "In Antigua, Digicel currently shares towers with APUA, CTV, and Observer Radio. More recently, we have made an agreement to share towers with LIME."

The company follows no international guidelines with regard to tower sharing, and its antenna numbers are not only high in Antigua, but rather the number is reflected across the region.

“As in Antigua & Barbuda, we carefully map out our radio network plan, ensuring that our antennas always keep within the radiation guidelines as established by the IRPA/INIRC.  Again, we also actively pursue and encourage tower sharing across all 32 Digicel markets worldwide,” Byrne said.

He said nothing about the health considerations.

Meanwhile, LIME has so far failed to respond to identical questions from Caribarena.com on this subject.


Minister of Telecommunications Dr Edmond Mansoor has, according to government communications general Maurice Merchant, directed us to the Development Control Authority (DCA), claiming that the entire matter is governed by that department.

Efforts to reach the relevant authorities there have proven futile.

Health Minster Wilmoth Daniel said on Sunday that the health implications suggested in Caribarena.com’s initial publication are grounds enough to command his attention.

With that, the minister has committed to getting to the bottom of the situation from a health perspective.

See related stories:

No Answers So Far On Antenna Issue

Are We Living in a Microwave - Part II

Are We Living in a Microwave



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21 Comments In This Article   

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CEO

#21 pedro Rodriguez » 2013-05-27 07:25

I own 36 acres in Dominican Republic and would like to buy an antena
give me price quote email:
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pedro Rodriguez

@John French II

#20 tenman » 2011-05-31 21:48

John French II well said. Like you I currently sit in nearby Caribbean island and wonder what will become of these islands, especially those that love the glitter. I suspect your belief that politicians will solve these issues is misplaced. It will take an enlightened populace who are willing to hold the politicians feet to the fire.

...
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tenman

The European Buccaneers are sailing in the CSME PT2

#19 John French II » 2011-05-31 19:26

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock. That the Hon. Min. of Telecommunications has washed his hands of this reminds me of Pontius Pilate. This is the same Honourable who wished ill of "The Father of The Nation". That he has not admitted his error speaks volumes and this comes as no surprise. Hopefully, someone at the DCA will do something Positive. I pray that the Minister of Health will see fit to act for the benefit of the populace. To show the contempt with which these European Privateers hold of us, they recognized that we had no regulations, hence they proceeded just as pirates do, they set the rules of plunder on the Caribbean seas rather than assisting the Government(s). I say Governments because the condition exists through the english speaking Caribbean. As I sit writting this on another Island Nation, I see four towers all within a mile of my location. These are the Joys and Agonies of a Young Growing Nation. Dr. PM, please put the Hon. Min. of Tele. to Work. If one takes that position in the worfkplace in a developed country, they would be shown the door. Heaven HelpThe Nation of Antigua & Barbuda - Redonda?
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John French II

The European Buccaneers are sailing in the CSME PT1

#18 John French II » 2011-05-31 19:03

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock. First let me state that what pertains in Antigua can be found throughout all of the english speaking Caribbean Nation States. Just as the Pirates have found their way back in the Maghreb and North Africa, it can be safely said that they never left the Caribbean notwithstanding independence and continue their plunder without regard for the population. Living in a small North American City with a population three times the pop of Antigua, I witnessed the full weight of a united people as they refused and approved the location of towers even when the municipal authorities and regulatory agencies were supportive of the tower placement. These European Privateers will continue to act with impunity in the pursuit of Caribbean Silver & Gold.
Heaven Help the Nation of Antigua & Barbuda - Redonda?
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John French II

Sir

#17 storytime » 2011-05-31 17:16

Having been a cellphone owner for many years and despite the vast quantity of towers here on Antigua - how come the service with ALL providers still has so many frequent problems......???? Dropped calls, out of range, check network services and the numerous error messages and non fulfilled calls???? And we have ALL THESE towers???????? Whats that all about? SO we are living in danger and STILL not getting an almost perfect service from anyone? Its a joke.......
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storytime

Re: actarus

#16 roy » 2011-05-31 16:10

Contact Caribarena. They did readings in my house. :-*
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roy

Mr

#15 Actarus » 2011-05-31 16:03

I do own a 0.8 Acre on the **om of the tower next to Donbar laboratory on friars hill road , where could I get a reading of the radiation ? is there somebody that could do this in Antigua ?
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Actarus

Mobiles 'may cause brain cancer' BBC

#14 Microwave chef » 2011-05-31 15:36

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-13608444

the following link will take you to the BBC and the #1 story out there
Mobiles 'may cause brain cancer'
By James Gallagher Health reporter, BBC News.
as a micro wave chef i now need to hear from The man responsible Dr Mansoor and fast. if he remains silent on this clear and present danger to my people and nation , he indicates that he has no solution or does not understand the problem. Fear that it will mean we need to take remedial action our-self. If a tower threatens your well-being and your life take the same action as you would finding a killer in your house, take them down and out and yes call 911 asap.
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Microwave chef

Phillip Morris again?

#13 Buzzbomb » 2011-05-31 13:51

A recent study by the World Health Organization concluded that the use of current cellphone technology may lead to brain cancer. Of course, like the tobacco lobby of the 50's, 60's & 70's, the communications corporations will probably spend billions of dollars fighting any independent research rather than cooperating to find the truth. Just a thought.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/05/31/136821133/cellphones-may-be-a-cancer-risk-after-all
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Buzzbomb

@Antiguan Abroad

#12 Dig It » 2011-05-31 13:32

Antiguan Abroad, unfortunately, we do most things in Antigua backwards! We do things first to annoy the public then ask questions later (find excuses later by paying the blaming game)! It is just the matter, in which, these towers are thrown down the publics throat! And the great Dr. Mongoose sits back and watch how everything plays out? Hmmm, I wonder how much xxx xe is getting from xxx? In that, I hope the majority of the people say no to these antennas and put their health first!
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Dig It

RE: Digicel Responds To Antenna Concerns

#11 Antiguan Abroad » 2011-05-31 11:50

Dig It, I am in the legal business....but I have represented several major telecommunications carriers over the years. As for the health risks, that is unfortunately the price one invariably pays for development. From what I know of wireless technology, the engineers must target certain specific areas to attain the best possible range for the wireless signals. If they determine the best coverages will mean that antennas need to be placed in a residential area, then the question should be....are the residents willing to trade superior cell phone coverages and services for the presumed health risks? If the majority of people feel strongly enough about the issue, then they should vigorously oppose the erection of new towers, and perhaps push for the dismantling of existing towers. Just be prepared for substandard or inadequate cellphone coverages afterwards.
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Antiguan Abroad

@Antiguan Abroad

#10 Dig It » 2011-05-31 11:15

Antiguan Abroad, I am not sure if you are in the telecommunications business but I don't believe our property owners should put "profits" over their health concerns! I know you live in the US but this is Antigua, which is not known for a high cancer population! I have not seen any studies done on tower sharing but I know the electromagnetic radiation from cell phone towers could caused health effects on our small population.You and I do not know the long-term effects of these towers. And all stakeholders involved in these antennas are quiet on the health risks involved. Unless, they start talking about it and assure our safety, and monitor residents who lived in these areas of the towers for the next 15 years, I say they take these antennas to Redonda or put them where the sun don't shine!!!
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Dig It

oops

#9 ringring » 2011-05-31 10:58

I saw that the link didn't paste correctly the first time, so here it is again:
www.bibliotecapleyades.net/scalar_tech/esp_scalartech_cellphonesmicrowave03.htm
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ringring

re: beef

#8 ringring » 2011-05-31 10:48

I agree with your comment. However, I don't think an investigation is necessary. From what I've understood (from Caribarena's articles) they (Caribarena) have already done all the investigating. Why don't the ministry of health use their data? I think the Ministry should just have to make a decision, because if an investigation will be launched, it will consume thousands of dollars and it will take 10 years before we get some results, and then it will take more time for the decision, and more time for action. That seems to be the typical trend with Gov investigations or inquiries. I say skip the investigation, use Caribarena's data, and let's take down some towers!
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ringring

generic

#7 ringring » 2011-05-31 10:44

This response that digicel gave is so generic. I bet mr.Byrne pulled it right out of a book. Like Dig it said, "I don't care how much "in accordance with regulations" they are with IRPA/INIRC! " And for anyone who is still "unsure" or not convinced that these towers are harmful, please read this:

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/scalar_tech/esp_scalartech_cellphonesmicrowave03.htm

And Let's not forget Dr.Mongoose' response. The DCA my foot. Maybe there is a lack of communication between the telecommunications division and Dr.Mongoose. I wouldn't be surprised....
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ringring

Lord, when will it end?

#6 BEEF » 2011-05-31 10:32

What kind of country are we living in, in this Antigua & Barbuda Lord? “The company maintains that it has taken all necessary precautions to ensure that none of its 30 antennas are placed near schools, hospitals, or medical centres”. So what about other population area? “Digicel followed this path in the absence of government regulations”. No government regulations exist? The Ministry of Health have nothing to say about these antennas? Why don’t the Ministry of Health begin an investigation into this matter? The health of the nation may be at stake and not some petty issues as to who should get contracts at C.B.H.
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BEEF

Re: Antiguan Abroad

#5 BJ » 2011-05-31 09:59

I would agree to what you have said in regard to:
"but I don't know if anyone truly knows at this point the long term consequences."

but I would ad why take a chance? I don't want to find out in 10 years that I have cancer from an antenna that was placed to close to my house.
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BJ

RE: Digicel Responds To Antenna Concerns

#4 Antiguan Abroad » 2011-05-31 09:53

From the telecom providers’ perspective, tower-sharing is the most cost effective way to proceed. After all, why pay to construct an expensive cell tower (or monopole) when they can share or "co-locate" on an existing tower at a mutually-agreed to fee? In fact, many wireless providers mount their antennas on the rooftops of existing commercial buildings, including residential apartment buildings (some of which are not that high). I hope Antiguan property owners are being properly compensated by these companies that accumulate tremendous profits.

The issue of health and other safety hazards related to the construction of these towers is a different matter, and is actively debated even here in the US. Many smaller towns and neighborhoods have municipal boards that the wireless companies need to apply for hearings to grant special permissions (or "variances") if their applications run into opposition from local communities. But many larger cities have a proliferation of these antennas and associated equipment. The wireless companies and their lobby always seek to downplay the health risks, but I don't know if anyone truly knows at this point the long term consequences.
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Antiguan Abroad

Town

#3 IphBBNokSamMoto » 2011-05-31 08:50

It's nice to see responses, but it read like a safety manual. we did this, we did that. Yeah, that's cool. and who certified that this is Safe. After reading the first article. I walked around St Johns and looked up, for a change. wow, there are a lot of Antennas in town. and the one on the corner of Ryan"s place is pointing straight at his other place. lets see if in ten years if any of his family gets fried. Then we will all know if it's true.
Just a note, Digi did not say its SAFE, Challenge to anyone, Who wants to go on record and say it is SAFE? Name, address and number.
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IphBBNokSamMoto

potential cancer patient

#2 Emancipation » 2011-05-31 08:18

OK. so Digicel has only 30 towers? Is there a department/body who is in charge of verifying the information that Digicel has given to Caribareana? In other words, we should just take Mr. Bryne's word?

It will be interesting to hear what Lime and APUA has to say. I am still not convinced.
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Emancipation

Not satisfied

#1 Dig It » 2011-05-31 07:54

This is an unacceptable responds by Digicel! I don't care how much "in accordance with regulations" they are with IRPA/INIRC! The fact of the matter is they failed to tell the public about the health risks involved in these antennas! Now, they talking about sharing towers. Isn't that more exposure to radiation? And, now the Minister of Telecommunication wants no part of the fiasco, and decides to use the DCA as
guinea pigs! I just don't like what's going on, and many in the public are taking a less pro-active stance on the matter. Any Minister who puts "Profits" over the peoples health should be demoted and clean the streets of St. John's in the hot sun without any water or tissue!
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Dig It

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