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Mobile phones? No, not here, thanks

Mobile phones? No, not here, thanks

The small rural community of Slocan Valley (British Columbia), once thriving around the mining town of New Denver and now home to just under 600 people, asked Canadian operator Telus to do not install the intended radio station which would allow the signal for mobile telephony to reach their valley.

No neo-Luddite regurgitation, no health concerns and for the effects of electromagnetic waves: simply, the New Denver Economic Development Commission (site designated to house the repeater) aims to promote tourism with the promise of a detonated zone: “The lack of cell phone coverage allows you to enjoy life without the incessant ringing of ringtones, followed by someone’s yelling conversation,” Bill Roberts, a representative of the committee, told Reuters.

Roberts himself dismisses accusations that the community is against new technologies : “We see the matter as an incredible competitive advantage, which would allow us to distinguish ourselves from other areas that practice a sort of development policy of ourselves”. In short, according to Roberts, a competition is underway to have larger airports, cellular networks and any other form of investment just because other communities are acquiring them : all following a “blind growth path”.

At the moment Telus would appear to have decided for suspension some jobs. Enthusiastic Katrine Campbell, Mayor of New Denver: “We can say come to us for the holidays and your boss won’t be able to track you,” the mayor told the press. But voices of dissent they rise from the rest of the valley, especially from the smaller Slocan villages and Silverton that would be ready to come forward to accommodate the repeater on the respective floors. In support of their thesis, the administrators of the two communities argue that one could always choose to turn off the mobile phone or don’t take it with you. On the contrary, the use of a mobile phone would certainly be useful in an emergency (especially in winter) and for improve communication between tourist offer and visitors.

The New Denver commission, on the other hand, thinks that there are other forms of investment to ensure the updating of its community: for this reason, a plan is being studied to guarantee fast internet access to the whole valley with a wireless system. Who knows what citizens will think of this initiative, in the light of recent unjustified alarms about the risks of WiFi.

Luca Annunziata