By James Hutchinson on May 15, 2012 7:03 AM
Telcos face more independent audits.
The Federal Government is considering whether to change the “risk-based” approach of auditing mobile base stations for electromagnetic emissions after a Senate committee urged action on the issue.
Calls to strengthen compliance checks on mobile sites have increased after the Australian Communications and Media Authority revealed it had audited only 474 licenses for mobile sites from telcos out of a total 18,000 base stations in the past 13 years.
The regulator told a Senate public hearing last month that it had independently measured measured emissions at the “less than a dozen” sites that it had received complaints about from the community.
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, which provides advice on safe electromagnetic emission standards but does not maintain compliance checks, had carried out tests on a total 21 sites.
Both agencies instead relied on predictive reports provided by telcos as part of the licensing process undertaken for each new site.
The methodology behind the reports had proven to be highly conservative in estimates of the perceived emissions of those sites, the ACMA said.
But a Senate environment and communications committee called for increased audits of mobile base station sites.
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