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Imagine living in a place where wireless signals are illegal

Discussion in 'GatorTail Pub' started by lacuna, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

    Apr 8, 2007
    Redlands, Colorado
    No cell phone service, no wifi, no doors that automatically open at your approach, where microwave ovens must be placed in protective steel boxes. Sounds like a nightmare for the tech savvy. Yet there is such a place in West Virginia.

    The Town Where Wireless Signals Are Illegal

    The Town Where Wireless Signals Are Illegal


    "Green Bank, West Virginia, is a tech-savvy teenager’s nightmare. In this tiny town in Pocahontas County—population 143, as of the last census—wireless signals are illegal. No cell phones. No WiFi. No Bluetooth. No electronic transmitters at all. Recently, a store even had to remove their automatic doors because they caused too much interference.

    "The remote town is smack in the center of the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000 square mile stretch of land designated by the FCC to protect two government radio telescopes from man-made interference. The rules, though, are most strict in Green Bank’s neck of the woods. So strict, actually, that someone roves the streets listening for verboten wireless signals...

    "It’s necessary, though. The town is home to the Green Bank Telescope, the largest steerable radio telescope in the world—and arguably our most powerful link to the cosmos. Scientists there listen to radio energy that has journeyed light years, unlocking secrets about how the stars and galaxies formed. A rogue radio signal could prevent potential discoveries, discoveries that could answer big questions about how the universe ticks."

    The restrictions haven't driven everyone away and have actually attracted people who believe they are hypersensitive to radio signals. And first responders are permitted short distance CB radios.

    And though limited in scope and size, there is an island of connectivity brought about by AT&T engineers.

    " Recently, engineers at AT&T brought cellular connectivity to the Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort, which lies in the center of the quiet zone. Doing this was no easy task, because they needed to get the radio wave interference down to extremely low levels. In a post on AT&T’s website, the director of the site, Dr. Karen O’Neil, explained the problems involved. To get approval, AT&T installed 180 antennas around the resort and 3 miles of fiberoptic cable so that the signals don’t need to travel very far. Which is good, because they also had to lower the power—according to O’Neil, your phone ordinarily emits 500 milliwatts when you’re using it. But if you’re skiing the slopes, that goes down automatically to less than a milliwatt."

    Could you, would you - be willing to live in a place like this?
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  2. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

    Apr 8, 2007
    Redlands, Colorado
    It's doomsday, folks. You gotta give up one thing. Which would you miss most - high speed internet - or your cell phone?

    I'd kiss high speed internet to the curb to save my cell phone service.
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  3. Spurffelbow833

    Spurffelbow833 GC Hall of Fame

    Jan 9, 2009
    Sounds like a problem Elon Musk and 50,000 more eventual returning space projectiles can solve.
  4. arminius

    arminius Freshman

    Mar 14, 2019
    I thought for sure this was going to be a colony of crazies. Glad to hear that it's for a good reason.
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  5. g8trdave

    g8trdave It's Great to Be a Florida Gator!!! VIP Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    Lawrenceville, GA
    We go to Snowshoe almost every year. I've always wondered why their cellular service is so poor. There's only one spot on the mountain that I can get data and make phone calls.
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  6. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

    Apr 8, 2007
    Redlands, Colorado
    Yeah, it does attract those who are convinced wireless signals are harmful. And the irony of a high tech listening facility by necessity located in an area that is essentially a tech wasteland is hard to ignore.

    Do Screens Give You Headaches? This Town Without Wi-Fi Might Be Your Salvation

    "...In 2007, Diane Schou, now 66, moved with her husband, Bert, 69, to Green Bank from Cedar Falls, Iowa, hoping that living free of technology would relieve her relentless headaches—headaches, she insists, that were caused by signals from a cell phone tower near her home. The Schous are members of a growing community who say they suffer from “electromagnetic hypersensitivity,” or EHS, caused by exposure to radio frequencies. The symptoms, according to sufferers, also include nausea, insomnia, and chest pains.

    "Mainstream medicine doesn’t recognize the syndrome, but Diane and Bert couldn’t be more sure. After her declining health forced her to give up her job as an agricultural scientist, the couple drove hundreds of thousands of miles across the United States seeking a respite from her condition. After returning from a sojourn with relatives in Sweden—the first country to consider EHS a disability—the Schous heard about the Quiet Zone from a national-park ranger in North Carolina. The couple pulled into Green Bank shortly thereafter, and Diane lived in her car behind a convenience store to give the town a try.

    "Fellow sufferers heard about Diane, and soon she was letting visitors stay in her home when they came to experience life in Green Bank. By 2010, roughly two dozen “electrosensitives” had moved to Green Bank. Jennifer Wood, a former architect before electrosensitivity felled her, remembers walking into the Schous’ home and being welcomed by a handful of other electrosensitives. “It was just like family,” Wood says.

    "But not everyone in Green Bank has been so keen to meet the new neighbors. Diane ruffled some feathers when she tried to get the local church to remove its fluorescent lights, which electrosensitives find excruciating, and when she told people to stop using their cell phones as cameras around her. The senior center, one of the town’s few gathering places, obliged her request to replace the fluorescent lights in one area, but when she asked that her food be delivered to her from the center’s kitchen—so she wouldn’t have to walk under other fluorescents—Green Bankers began to protest."
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