Why it may not be such a good idea to take up the offer of a wireless “landline” phone system

Why it may not be such a good idea to take up the offer of a wireless “landline” phone system

Introduction

If you currently have a home phone connected to the copper system, you may shortly receive (or may already have received) a letter from your phone service provider. 

The letter will likely say something to the effect that it’s time to move to new technology (or words to that effect).

Your phone company may make what they are offering you sound like the latest and greatest thing going.

In reality, the company is likely to be trying to seduce you away from a safe, tried and true technology (a corded phone that is connected to the copper phone system) to a new wireless phone system.

NB: Both types of wireless phones on the NZ market (cordless home phones and cellular/mobile phones) have been linked to increased risk of developing a particularly nasty type of brain cancer called glioma. [1]  There is no such known cancer risk from using the traditional home phone that has a cord. 

In the case of Spark and Vodafone, the new wireless phone systems that they offer connect to a cellular (mobile) phone network and will introduce potentially carcinogenic (cancer-causing) pulsed microwave radiation into your home. [2]

(By the way, Spark and Vodafone (and 2Degrees) are also the telecommunications retailing companies that want to build new wireless 5G networks in NZ.)

Spark calls their 4G cellular phone infrastructure based wireless home phone system a “wireless landline”. [3]

Vodafone calls their cellular phone infrastructure based wireless home phone system a “home phone wireless”. [4]

2Degrees also has a wireless phone system. From the very small amount of information on this company’s website it is unclear whether or not this works via the company’s mobile network as the phone is designed to communicate with a modem.  However, you can see from the video on the site that the phones supplied with this system are cordless so they will also be producing potentially carcinogenic microwave radiation.  [5]

What are your rights if you are offered a “wireless landline” or “home phone?

You do NOT have to accept a wireless phone system if you do not want one. 

(Spark has already been publicly criticised by Chorus for what has been described as using “inertia selling” of wireless phone systems to its copper landline phone customers. https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/113418141/chorus-deeply-uncomfortable-with-spark-homephone-sales-move )

NB:  By refusing to move to a wireless phone system that has cordless phones (which produce microwave radiation) and/or an additional device that also produces microwave radiation (in order to   communicate with the mobile/cellular system) you can help to protect your own health (and that of family and friends who live with you or visit your home) from the potentially carcinogenic microwave radiation that is produced by these phone systems. 

Also, by refusing to move to a wireless phone system you are helping to protect our environment and the health of other people in your area. Living close to cell phone towers has documented health risks for local residents. [6] 

One of the reasons for the current proliferation of cellular phone towers in NZ is that telecommunications companies are aggressively marketing wireless home phone systems. [7]  When people consequently choose to move from the safe copper system to a “wireless” home phone that connects to the cellular phone network, more cellular phone towers have to be built (because each tower can handle only a certain number of  connections at a time).

What are your options to have a safe, corded phone system if you live in a NZ town or city where access to the copper landline system is planned to be phased out?

Option 1) 

You could simply stay with the copper phone system in your area if you are happy with it because access to the copper system is not likely to be phased out anywhere in NZ until some time in 2020 at the earliest.  (NB: The copper service is going to be phased out ONLY from areas of NZ where there is fibre.  The Minister for Telecommunications has said that the copper system will remain in other parts of NZ [8].)

Option 2)

You could get your home connected to the fibre system and connect a phone to this system.  Information about how to have a safe corded phone connection with the fibre system may be found at this link:  https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/can-corded-phone-fibre/

References

[1] https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/01/06/cell-phone-use-brain-cancer-risk.aspx

[2]  Microwave radiation was classified as “possible carcinogen” (Class 2B) in 2011 https://microwavenews.com/short-takes-archive/iarc-publishes-rf-cancer-review  Subsequent research suggests that this form of radiation should be reclassified as a proven carcinogen (cancer causing agent). https://www.emfacts.com/2017/08/cancer-expert-declares-cell-phone-and-wireless-radiation-as-carcinogenic-to-humans/

[3] https://www.spark.co.nz/help/other/terms/personal-terms/home-wireless-landline/

[4] http://help.vodafone.co.nz/app/answers/detail/a_id/22374

[5] https://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/help-and-support/broadband-and-landline/landline/business-calling-services/#2degrees-smart-phone-line

[6] https://www.5g.org.nz/2019/07/05/biological-effects-of-living-near-a-cell-phone-tower/ and https://www.avaate.org/IMG/pdf/ESTUDIO_BRASIL_BrazilCellTowerStudy.pdf

[7]  Another reason for the proliferation of cellular phone towers in NZ is the telecommunications companies that want to introduce 5G into NZ (Spark, Vodafone and 2Degrees) into NZ plan to use the 4G  system as a “control layer” for 5G. See: https://www.5g.org.nz/2018/10/11/facts-about-5g-in-nz/

[8] http://www.saveourlandlines.nz/news/letter-from-the-hon-kris-faafoi-states-that-rural-landlines-are-safe/

A real lemon is beautiful and useful…If you value your health, a wireless phone system is the sort of “lemon” that you would want to avoid…
Thank you to Elena Chochkova for making this image available under a GNU Free Documenttation License.

Please join us

Your voice in defence of New Zealand’s copper landline network and your taking the time to help educate others about the importance of this important national infrastructure would be most appreciated.

If you would like to help with the campaign you may contact us via our Contact Form which you can reach by clicking HERE.

If you would like to sign a petition to show your support for saving NZ’s copper landline phone system, you can access a petition at the link below: http://www.saveourlandlines.nz/news/save-our-landlines-nz-launches-petition/

We have a Facebook page that you are welcome to like and follow it is https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

2019 Update

2019 Update


A quick update for 2019

Save Our Landlines NZ would like to thank all of its supporters who undertook a large range of initiatives in 2018 (including writing submissions, emailing MPs and Ministers and engaging with media) in the hope of preventing the destruction of much of New Zealand’s copper landline phone system.

Unfortunately, despite the majority of submissions on the bill being in favour of retaining the copper landline phone system throughout NZ, the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill was passed into law by the government in November 2018.

The news is not completely bad; the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media has provided a written assurance that in areas where there is no fibre, Chorus will not be able to withdraw access to the copper system.

Also, there are ways in which New Zealanders who live in fibre areas should still be able to have a safe hardwired internet and phone connection – although unfortunately maintaining a corded phone that will function during a power outage will cost more.

Information about how to have a safe hardwired phone and internet via the fibre system may be found at the links below:

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/can-corded-phone-fibre/

Considering ultrafast broadband?

However, Spark has indicated that it does not want to give all of its customers access to the fibre system and instead wants to force them onto fixed wireless connections. (Wireless internet systems potentially have health risks for people who use them as well posing risks to the health of people who live near the wireless infrastructure that provides the wireless connection.)

For this reason, please stay connected with Save Our Landlines NZ so that we can help New Zealanders maintain access to safe, hardwired telecommunications services.

To stay up-to-date on developments on the landline phone campaign, you have the option of signing up to the email list for Stop Smart Meters NZ at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz and/or following the Save Our Landlines FB page https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Community/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

YOUR help needed NOW to help save the copper landlines in NZ’s towns and cities

YOUR help needed NOW to help save the copper landlines in NZ’s towns and cities

Please take action TODAY against the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Bill which has passed its second reading.

Save Our Landlines NZ’s position is that the bill should be withdrawn and redrafted so that it PROTECTS NZers access to the copper phone line network.

According to the new Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media,  the Hon. Kris Faafoi, the copper landlines in rural NZ are safe, but the copper landlines system in NZ towns and cities are still threatened by the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill.

The Save Our Landlines NZ campaign therefore asks all supporters to lobby MPs and party leaders against the bill by taking the following steps:

1. Visiting party leader’s FB pages and leaving polite messages and/or comments asking them to withdraw their party’s support for the bill unless the bill is reformed to protect NZer’s access to the copper phone system.  (Details of FB pages and suggested messages are below.)

2.  Emailing party leaders and your local MP with a polite email asking them to withdraw their party’s support for the bill unless the bill is reformed to protect NZer’s access to the copper phone system.  (Details of how to access email addresses and a template letter you can adapt for your own use are below.) 

 

 

Details for Facebook pages for NZ party leaders:

https://www.facebook.com/jacindaardern/
https://www.facebook.com/winstonpeters/
https://www.facebook.com/JamesShawMP/
https://www.facebook.com/maramadavidsonmp/
https://www.facebook.com/simonjbridges/

Suggested information you can use when sending a FB message or leaving a comment:

1) The copper landline phone network allows people to have a safe corded phone and hardwired internet access.
2) Corded copper landline phones will usually work when a house has lost power so are important in emergencies.

3) Removal of copper was opposed by the vast majority of NZers who made submissions on the bill; it is undemocratic for the government to have essentially ignored this feedback.
4) Keeping the copper supports consumer choice and frees up the fibre bandwidth for those people and businesses that actually need really fast internet.
5) Spark wants to move low data internet customers to fixed wireless broadband (and deny them access to fibre – https://www.computerworld.co.nz/…/spark-abandon-copper-fib…/ ) even though this would mean further proliferation of cellular phone towers. and increased health risks including potentially increased risk of cancer (see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21741680 ) for people living close to this infrastructure.

Thank you for your support on this issue.

NB: If you have time, please make multiple postings of individual points on the comments on Facebook pages that allow members of the public to do this.  Doing so will increase the visibility of this topic to leaders’ staff and also alert other New Zealanders about the implications of  this bill which has had little mainstream media coverage.

 

Information to help you email MPs and party leaders

You will be able to find email addresses for New Zealand MPs at this link: http://haveyoursay.nz/#/

Could you please email your local MP and also email our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, leaders of the Green Party Marama Davidson and James Shaw and the leader of the National Party Simon Bridges and ask them to withdraw their party’s support for the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Bill unless it is reformed to PROTECT NZers access to the copper landline phone system.

You will be able to find email addresses at this link: http://haveyoursay.nz/#/

If you would like a template letter that you could adapt for your own use, you could use the one at this link:

A vote for the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill is a vote for the destruction of much of NZ’s copper landline phone system

 

Thank you very much for your support on this issue.

 

Please join us

Your voice in defence of New Zealand’s copper landline network and your taking the time to help educate others about the importance of this important national infrastructure would be most appreciated.

If you would like to help with the campaign you may contact us via our COntact Form which you can reach by clicking HERE.

If you would like to sign a petition to show your support for saving NZ’s copper landline phone system, you can access a petition at the link below: http://www.saveourlandlines.nz/news/save-our-landlines-nz-launches-petition/

We have a Facebook page that you are welcome to life and follow it is https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

 

 

 

Letter from The Hon. Kris Faafoi states that rural landlines are safe

Letter from The Hon. Kris Faafoi states that rural landlines are safe

In May 2018 Whangarei journalist Clare Swinney wrote to the Clare Curran, who was then Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media.  The topic of her letter was the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill.  She recently received a reply from the new Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Hon Kris Faafoi.

Among other things, the letter states that Chorus will not be able to withdraw the  copper landlines in the rural areas of NZ, where the government does not plan to install fibre.

As it stands, the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill  still allows for the piecemeal destruction of the copper landline phone system in New Zealand towns and cities that have fibre which is bad for consumers who value the benefits of the copper landline system, a step backwards for health and safety and undemocratic, considering how public support for retaining the copper landline system was essentially ignored by the committee considering the bill.

Nonetheless  the letter from the responsible Minister provides some level of reassurance to rural New Zealanders who put a particularly high value on the copper landlines phone system

You may read the letter from the Hon Kris Faafoi by downloading the PDF at the link below:

Letter from Kris Faafoi to Clare Swinney 19092018171124-0001

 

 

About Save Our Landlines NZ:

This website is being developed by New Zealanders who want to see the copper landline network in NZ to be retained and protected. If you value having a corded landline phone that will work even if you home (and the area in which you live) loses electricity, you are very welcome to join us.

To get updates on this issue, please follow our Facebook page at the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

If you would like to help in any way with the campaign to save NZ’s copper landline network, please email us through the contact form below.

http://www.saveourlandlines.nz/contact-us/

Press Release: Telecommunications bill pushing ahead with the piecemeal destruction of New Zealand’s copper landline system.

Press Release: Telecommunications bill pushing ahead with the piecemeal destruction of New Zealand’s copper landline system.

Telecommunications bill: Pushing ahead with the piecemeal destruction of New Zealand’s copper landline system.

 

The Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill (which has now passed its second reading) is designed to allow the piecemeal destruction of New Zealand’s copper landline system.

 

The copper landline system allows people to have a safe corded phone which will usually work when a home or business loses power, proving a vital lifeline in the event of an emergency.

 

If the bill becomes law, New Zealanders who lose access to the copper system who want to have the security of having a working phone during a power outage will have fork out for an expensive battery back-up system for a fibre based phone.*

 

While the bill started its life under the previous National-led government, it is now the responsibility of Labour MP Kris Faafoi.

 

The Select Committee that considered the bill essentially ignored the submissions from members of the public which were overwhelmingly in favour of retaining the copper landline system to facilitate consumer choice and for public safety reasons.**

 

Save Our Landlines NZ urges MPs to reject the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill unless it is redrafted to protect New Zealanders’ access to the safe, reliable copper phone line network rather than allow for the important asset, built up over many decades to be destroyed.

 

ENDS

 

 

*The system recommended by Spark costs several hundred dollars.

** A press release on this issue may be read at this link: http://www.saveourlandlines.nz/news/kiwis-alarmed-at-govt-proposal-to-destroy-landline-infrastructure/

** Quotes from a selection of the submissions may be read at this link:

http://www.saveourlandlines.nz/news/quotes-from-submissions-on-telecommunications-bill/

 

Note to media: 

Should you wish to talk to someone from the Save Our Landlines please email us thorugh the Contact Form and we will be in touch.

 

 

About Save Our Landlines NZ:

This website is being developed by New Zealanders who want to see the copper landline network in NZ to be retained and protected. If you value having a corded landline phone that will work even if you home (and the area in which you live) loses electricity, you are very welcome to join us.

To get updates on this issue, please follow our Facebook page at the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

If you would like to help in any way with the campaign to save NZ’s copper landline network, please email us through the contact form below.

http://www.saveourlandlines.nz/contact-us/

Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill passes its second reading

Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill passes its second reading

The Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill has passed its second reading in New Zealand’s parliament.and is now at the “Committee of the Whole House”  stage of the legislative process.

Save Our Landlines NZ has put out an open letter to MPs asking them to vote against this bill as, in its present form, it allows for the piecemeal destruction of New Zealand’s copper landline infrastructure.   You may read the letter at the link below:

A vote for the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill is a vote for the destruction of much of NZ’s copper landline phone system

 

About Save Our Landlines NZ:

This website is being developed by New Zealanders who want to see the copper landline network in NZ to be retained and protected. If you value having a corded landline phone that will work even if you home (and the area in which you live) loses electricity, you are very welcome to join us.

To get updates on this issue, please follow our Facebook page at the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

If you would like to help in any way with the campaign to save NZ’s copper landline network, please email us through the contact form below.

http://www.saveourlandlines.nz/contact-us/

Green Planet FM features discussion of landline phones and related issues

Green Planet FM features discussion of landline phones and related issues

Website editor’s link:  In August 2018 Green Planet FM featured a discussion between host Tim Lynch and Katherine Smith on a variety of issues relared to electromagnetic radiation and health,

The interview began with a discussion about smart meters (the new wireless meters being introduced for electricity – these are NOT compulstory in NZ – please see www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz) and then continued on the topic of the government plan to phase out mcuh of New Zealand’s copper landline phone network.  A new wireless technology (5G) was also dsicussed.  (For NZ-specific information about 5G please see www.5G.org.nz),.

The interview and background information may be accessed via the link below:

 

 

https://www.ourplanet.org/greenplanetfm/katherine-smith-5G-mobile-network-increasing-radiation-transmission-impacting-human-health

 

Save Our Landlines NZ would like to thank Tim Lynch for a great interview as well as his other efforts to inform people about the  threat to NZ’s copper landline phone network and other important issues.

Please join us

Your voice in defence of New Zealand’s copper landline network and your taking the time to help educate others about the importance of this important national infrastructure would be most appreciated.

If you would like to help with the campaign you may contact us via our Contact Form which you can reach by clicking HERE.

If you would like to sign a petition to show your support for saving NZ’s copper landline phone system, you can access a petition at the link below: http://www.saveourlandlines.nz/news/save-our-landlines-nz-launches-petition/

We have a Facebook page that you are welcome to life and follow it is https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/

Hamilton Free FM features guest on landline phone issue

Hamilton Free FM features guest on landline phone issue

Website editor’s note:  On June 17, 2018, Oamaru acupuncturist Rick Loos, who has been providing local leadership on the campaign to save NZ’s copper landlines, was a guest on Cosmopolitan News and Views, on Hamilton’s Free FM (which is part of the Access Radio network of community radio stations.

You can hear Mr. Loos together with Cosmopolitan News and Views, Melvan Driscoll and Bruce Scott  at the link below.  The discussion of the landline phone issue begin around the fourteen and a half minute mark into the hour long show.

Thank you to the hosts of Cosmopolitan News and Views and Mr. Loos for their contributions to bringing this issue to the attention of the public.

https://www.accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=c736671b-0b28-4c33-aaa4-09af2441f66a#

 

Please join us

Your voice in defence of New Zealand’s copper landline network and your taking the time to help educate others about the importance of this important national infrastructure would be most appreciated.

If you would like to help with the campaign you may contact us via our COntact Form which you can reach by clicking HERE.

If you would like to sign a petition to show your support for saving NZ’s copper landline phone system, you can access a petition at the link below:

Save Our Landlines NZ launches petition

Letter to Otago Daily Times sums up benefits of copper landlines

Letter to Otago Daily Times sums up benefits of copper landlines

Website editor’s note: The letter that you can access below, which was recently published on June 12, 2018 in the Otago Daily Times sums up the one of the key benefits of retaining the copper landlines phone network.  You can click on the image to make it bigger.

Please note that if you want to have fibre installed you can negotiate with the installer to have your copper lines retained.  However you may have to pay additional monthly fees to retain access to the copper network as well ass the fibre network,It is important to explore these issue prior to making any decision to move to fibre.

A copper phone line connection can provide a safe and inexpensive hardwired internet connection: thttp://www.naturalmedicine.net.nz/childrens-health-and-development/protect-your-health-with-an-inexpensive-safe-hardwired-internet-connection/   

 

Please join us

Your voice in defence of New Zealand’s copper landline network and your taking the time to help educate others about the importance of this important national infrastructure would be most appreciated.

If you would like to help with the campaign you may contact us via our COntact Form which you can reach by clicking HERE.

If you would like to sign a petition to show your support for saving NZ’s copper landline phone system, you can access a petition at the link below:

Access internet radio show covers the landline phone issue

Access internet radio show covers the landline phone issue

On June 13, the Hamilton based Access Radio station “Hamilton Free FM” featured a discussion of the landline phone issue.

The host for the show was Jack Geier from the “From the Fringes” show and the guest speaking on the landline phone issue was Katherine Smith.  The same show also included discussion of a new bill called the “Administration of Justice (Reform of Contempt of Court) Bill”.

The show may be accessed via Access Radio’s website at the following link:  http://accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=bc3dd576-e113-4b6b-b9f0-335ae64f2c3d

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