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Request for information about 5G in Northumberland

David made this Freedom of Information request to Northumberland County Council

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Dear Northumberland County Council,

This is a Freedom of Information Request.

1. Do you have a 5G strategy?

1.1 If yes, I request to see the complete strategy, its ambitions and its objectives in PPTX, Word, PDF or picture format.

1.2 If yes, has the public had the opportunity to read and understand [Council’s] 5G strategy? Where was this information published?

1.3 I also request a supplementary document that includes the highest level of detail on all 5G technology that’s planned to be used and current in use in public spaces within [Council]:

(a) Companies and entities involved and the names of the company/entity officers.

(b) Specification sheets of all 5G technology.

(c) What technology e.g. units and arrays are not currently 5G, but can be 5G enabled e.g. with current software, future software, hardware upgrades or retrofitting?

(d) What UK, EU and International safety standards is [Council] complying with for the 5G strategy and existing 5G technology.

(e) I request proof e.g. a certificate from [Council] that confirms that UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have been meet.

1.4 If no, I request all documentation, memos, emails and communication on companies and entities you’re in talks with regarding the formulation of a 5G strategy.

2. I request the name/s of the Officer/s in charge of the 5G strategy and roll out including their CV and qualifications in 5G and Smart Cities; and who their subject area expert or consultancy is, their CV and qualifications on 5G and Smart Cities.

3. Are you in talks with any experts, companies or entities about autonomous vehicles (AV) for public transport and/or private use on Public Highways?

3.1 If yes, I request to see the complete strategy, its ambitions and its objectives in PPTX, Word, PDF or picture format.

3.2 I also request a supplementary document that includes all levels of detail on:

(a) Companies and entities involved and the names of the company/entity officers?

(b) Specification sheets of all technology.

(c) What type of communication system will [Council] be utilising to control the vehicles?

(d) What UK, EU and International safety standards does your AV strategy and rollout comply with?

(e) I request proof e.g. a certificate from [Council] that confirms that UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have been meet.

3.3 If no, I request all documentation, memos, emails and communication on companies and entities you’re in talks with regarding the formulations of an autonomous public and private vehicle technology strategy.

4. Do you have a strategy for smart roads and smart signage on Public Highways and Public spaces?

4.1 If yes, I request to see the complete strategy, its ambitions and its objectives in PPTX, Word, PDF or picture format.

4.2 I also request a supplementary document that includes all levels of detail on:

(a) Companies and entities involved and the names of the company/entity officers?

(b) Specification sheets of all technology.

(c) What technology e.g. units and arrays will not be 5G, but can be 5G enabled e.g. with current software, future software, hardware upgrades or retrofitting etc (you must be specific on anything here)?

(d) What UK, EU and International safety standards does your 5G strategy and rollout comply with?

(e) I request proof e.g. a certificate from [Council] that confirms that UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have been meet.

4.3 If no, I request all documentation, memos, emails and communication on companies and entities you’re in talks with regarding smart roads and smart signage.

5. Are you planning to rollout or have rolled out LED street lighting?

5.1 If yes, please answer these questions:

(a) What is the CMS and specification of the software and hardware of the LED street light system?

(b) What type of waveform is the LED? e.g. Square wave?

(c) Can you control the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) of the streetlight system using the CMS?

(d) Can you control the PWM of each streetlight that’s connected to the system?

(e) What restrictions do you have in place for the control of the PWM?

(f) What is the UK, EU and International safety limit (low and high) for the amount of ‘flicker’ (Hz) the Human Body and eyes can be exposed to and for how long?

(g) I request to see the training manual and safety operation manual for the CMS and the LED streetlight system.

(h) Who is the company who is or has installed the CMS LED streetlight system?

(i) What company maintains and repairs the CMS and LED streetlight system?

(j) What entity and Officer is responsible for the safety standards for the CMS and LED streetlight system?

(k) I request proof e.g. a certificate from [Council] that confirms that UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have been meet.

(l) What is the amount of Blue Light leakage that’s safe for the public and workers during the LED streetlights operation?

(m) What level of LED streetlight exposure is safe for the public at daytime and night time?

(n) Is there a legal requirement for diffusers to be fitted to LED streetlights?

(o) How have you have addressed the amount of Oxidative Stress on Human and Animal cells that’s produced from LED?

5.2 If no, then I request a declaration from [Council] that you will not be installing LED streetlights in the future. If you cannot provide a declaration, I would like the following answered in the future tense:

(a) What is the CMS and specification of the software and hardware of the LED street light system?

(b) What type of waveform is the LED? e.g. Square wave?

(c) Can you control the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) of the streetlight system using the CMS?

(d) Can you control the PWM of each streetlight that’s connected to the system?

(e) What restrictions do you have in place for the control of the PWM?

(f) What is the UK, EU and International safety limit (low and high) for the amount of ‘flicker’ (Hz) the Human Body and eyes can be exposed to and for how long?

(g) I request to see the training manual and safety operation manual for the CMS and the LED streetlight system.

(h) Who is the company who is or has installed the CMS LED streetlight system?

(i) What company maintains and repairs the CMS and LED streetlight system?

(j) What entity and Officer is responsible for the safety standards for the CMS and LED streetlight system?

(k) I request proof e.g. a certificate from [Council] that confirms that UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have been meet.

(l) What is the amount of Blue Light leakage that’s safe for the public and workers during the LED streetlights operation?

(m) What level of LED streetlight exposure is safe for the public at daytime and night time?

(n) Is there a legal requirement for diffusers to be fitted to LED streetlights?

(o) How have you have addressed the amount of Oxidative Stress on Human and Animal cells that’s produced from LED?

6. I request all memos, presentations, documents, plans, rollouts, emails and details regarding 2G, 3G, 4G, WiFi and WiGIG in public spaces.

Yours faithfully,

David Hall

Northumberland County Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref: 5040  

Dear Enquirer,

INFORMATION REQUEST

Thank you for your request for information which will be dealt with under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, we
will let you know the likely charges before proceeding.

If you have any queries about this matter please contact us. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Kind regards

Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [Northumberland County Council request email]
Web: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk

Northumberland County Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref: 5040  

Dear Enquirer,

I refer to your Freedom of Information request in relation to 5G
Strategy. 

Right of Access 

Section 1(1) of the Act provides any person making a request for
information to a public authority is entitled. 

(a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds
information of the description specified in the request (which Section
1(6) of the Act designates as the "duty to confirm or deny"), and 

(b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him. 

The right is to obtain access to the information itself and not to the
document or record which contains it. 

The Act creates a general right of access to information held by public
authorities subject to various exemptions. 

1. Do you have a 5G strategy?

No

1.1 If yes, I request to see the complete strategy, its ambitions and its
objectives in PPTX, Word, PDF or picture format.

1.2 If yes, has the public had the opportunity to read and understand
[Council’s] 5G strategy? Where was this information published?

1.3 I also request a supplementary document that includes the highest
level of detail on all 5G technology that’s planned to be used and current
in use in public spaces within [Council]:

(a) Companies and entities involved and the names of the company/entity
officers.

(b) Specification sheets of all 5G technology.

(c) What technology e.g. units and arrays are not currently 5G, but can be
5G enabled e.g. with current software, future software, hardware upgrades
or retrofitting?

(d) What UK, EU and International safety standards is [Council] complying
with for the 5G strategy and existing 5G technology.

(e) I request proof e.g. a certificate from [Council] that confirms that
UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have
been meet.

1.4 If no, I request all documentation, memos, emails and communication
on companies and entities you’re in talks with regarding the formulation
of a 5G strategy.

No strategy currently in development, as such no market engagement has
taken place at this stage.

2. I request the name/s of the Officer/s in charge of the 5G strategy and
roll out including their CV and qualifications in 5G and Smart Cities; and
who their subject area expert or consultancy is, their CV and
qualifications on 5G and Smart Cities.

n/a as no strategy currently in development

3. Are you in talks with any experts, companies or entities about
autonomous vehicles (AV) for public transport and/or private use on Public
Highways?

No

3.1 If yes, I request to see the complete strategy, its ambitions and its
objectives in PPTX, Word, PDF or picture format.

3.2 I also request a supplementary document that includes all levels of
detail on:

(a) Companies and entities involved and the names of the company/entity
officers?

(b) Specification sheets of all technology.

(c) What type of communication system will [Council] be utilising to
control the vehicles?

(d) What UK, EU and International safety standards does your AV strategy
and rollout comply with?

(e) I request proof e.g. a certificate from [Council] that confirms that
UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have
been meet.

3.3 If no, I request all documentation, memos, emails and communication
on companies and entities you’re in talks with regarding the formulations
of an autonomous public and private vehicle technology strategy.

No strategy currently in development, as such no market engagement has
taken place at this stage.

4. Do you have a strategy for smart roads and smart signage on Public
Highways and Public spaces?

No

4.1 If yes, I request to see the complete strategy, its ambitions and its
objectives in PPTX, Word, PDF or picture format.

4.2 I also request a supplementary document that includes all levels of
detail on:

(a) Companies and entities involved and the names of the company/entity
officers?

(b) Specification sheets of all technology.

(c) What technology e.g. units and arrays will not be 5G, but can be 5G
enabled e.g. with current software, future software, hardware upgrades or
retrofitting etc (you must be specific on anything here)?

(d) What UK, EU and International safety standards does your 5G strategy
and rollout comply with?

(e) I request proof e.g. a certificate from [Council] that confirms that
UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have
been meet.

4.3 If no, I request all documentation, memos, emails and communication
on companies and entities you’re in talks with regarding smart roads and
smart signage.

No strategy currently in development, as such no market engagement has
taken place at this stage.

5. Are you planning to rollout or have rolled out LED street lighting?

The Council are currently in the process of converting all of its highway
street lights to LED.

5.1 If yes, please answer these questions:

(a) What is the CMS and specification of the software and hardware of the
LED street light system?

The council have not installed a CMS system, and the LED luninaires
installed are the Thorn R2L2 lantern and the Urbis Ampera.

(b) What type of waveform is the LED? e.g. Square wave?

Copies of the technical literature for the above luminaires are attached.

(c) Can you control the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) of the streetlight
system using the CMS?

Not applicable.

(d) Can you control the PWM of each streetlight that’s connected to the
system?

Not applicable.

(e) What restrictions do you have in place for the control of the PWM?

Not applicable.

(f) What is the UK, EU and International safety limit (low and high) for
the amount of ‘flicker’ (Hz) the Human Body and eyes can be exposed to and
for how long?

All installed luminaires comply with BS EN 60598-1.

(g) I request to see the training manual and safety operation manual for
the CMS and the LED streetlight system.

As stated above no CMS system has been installed.

(h) Who is the company who is or has installed the CMS LED streetlight
system?

Not applicable.

(i) What company maintains and repairs the CMS and LED streetlight system?

The new street lights have been installed by Galliford Try, and after the
requisite guarantee period, will be maintained by Northumberland County
Council.

(j) What entity and Officer is responsible for the safety standards for
the CMS and LED streetlight system?

As stated above no CMS System has been installed.

(k) I request proof e.g. a certificate from [Council] that confirms that
UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have
been meet.

The luminaires comply with BS EN 60598-1, and are installed by a competent
contractor, being tested for compliane on completion.

(l) What is the amount of Blue Light leakage that’s safe for the public
and workers during the LED streetlights operation?

Televisions, computer screens, mobile phones and other electronic devices
emit high levels of blue light, which is directed straight into the user’s
eyes.  There is emerging evidence that prolonged use of such devices
during the evening hours may lead to light over-exposure and disruption to
the circadian rhythm.  The direct exposure to people’s eyes from
streetlights is generally quite minimal, so it’s unlikely that pedestrians
or drivers will be subject to over-exposure simply by passing beneath
them.  The current evidence does not suggest specific mitigation measures
are required as there is no clear risk to mitigate against. The Council
does however dim LED streetlights from midnight by 50% and outdoor LED
lighting is less diffuse.

(m) What level of LED streetlight exposure is safe for the public at
daytime and night time?

The LED lighting has been installed in accordance with the requirements of
BS5489 (Code of Practice for the Design of Road Lighting), and I would
also draw your attention to the response provided to 5.1 (l) above.

(n) Is there a legal requirement for diffusers to be fitted to LED
streetlights?

None that I am aware of. However, if we do receive any requests in
relation to light trespass, we will use various measures to alleviate the
problem, i.e. reduce wattage of LEDs, orientate the LED luminaire
differently or fit a baffle.

(o) How have you have addressed the amount of Oxidative Stress on Human
and Animal cells that’s produced from LED?

I would direct you to the response provided at (l) above, and we are aware
the Public Health England are in the process of drafting further evidence
based guidance for Local Authorities on LED lighting. Should the evidence
identify any additional harms from LED as a specific form of outdoor
lighting we will obviously seek further mitigating measures.  As a
Council, we will continue to be guided by Public Health England.

5.2 If no, then I request a declaration from [Council] that you will not
be installing LED streetlights in the future. If you cannot provide a
declaration, I would like the following answered in the future tense:

(a) What is the CMS and specification of the software and hardware of the
LED street light system?

(b) What type of waveform is the LED? e.g. Square wave?

(c) Can you control the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) of the streetlight
system using the CMS?

(d) Can you control the PWM of each streetlight that’s connected to the
system?

(e) What restrictions do you have in place for the control of the PWM?

(f) What is the UK, EU and International safety limit (low and high) for
the amount of ‘flicker’ (Hz) the Human Body and eyes can be exposed to and
for how long?

(g) I request to see the training manual and safety operation manual for
the CMS and the LED streetlight system.

(h) Who is the company who is or has installed the CMS LED streetlight
system?

(i) What company maintains and repairs the CMS and LED streetlight system?

(j) What entity and Officer is responsible for the safety standards for
the CMS and LED streetlight system?

(k) I request proof e.g. a certificate from [Council] that confirms that
UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have
been meet.

(l) What is the amount of Blue Light leakage that’s safe for the public
and workers during the LED streetlights operation?

(m) What level of LED street light exposure is safe for the public at
daytime and night time?

(n) Is there a legal requirement for diffusers to be fitted to LED
streetlights?

(o) How have you have addressed the amount of Oxidative Stress on Human
and Animal cells that’s produced from LED?

Duty to confirm or deny 

The public interest test requires Northumberland County Council to confirm
that we hold certain information relating to:-
 6. I request all memos, presentations, documents, plans, rollouts, emails
and details regarding 2G, 3G, 4G, WiFi and WiGIG in public spaces.

The Council have installed column mounted WiFi units in 3 areas as trials
to assess usage in public areas. The town centre areas selected were
Ashington, Blyth and Berwick. The WiFi in Blyth was extended temporaily to
provide greater coverage when the Tall Ships visited Blyth in 2017.

However, the time and cost involved in extracting the requested
information would exceed our statutory obligation to comply with the
request; e.g. 2.5 days and/or £450.  It would take approximately 5 days to
get this information together because it is held across many locations in
mailboxes/filing system of staff that have now left the organisation.

Exemptions 

The Freedom of Information Act sets out various exemptions to the right of
access. 

In the present case the County Council takes the view that the information
relating to your request is exempt under the following provisions. 

• Section 12(1) Exemption where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate
limit 

Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request
for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with
the request would exceed the appropriate limit. 

(2) Subsection (1) does not exempt the public authority from its
obligation to comply with paragraph (a) of section 1(1) unless the
estimated cost of complying with that paragraph alone would exceed the
appropriate limit. 

(3) In subsections (1) and (2) "the appropriate limit" means such amount
as may be prescribed, and different amounts may be prescribed in relation
to different cases. 

(4) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that, in such
circumstances as may be prescribed, where two or more requests for
information are made to a public authority- 

(a) by one person, or 

(b) by different persons who appear to the public authority to be acting
in concert or in pursuance of a campaign, 

the estimated cost of complying with any of the requests is to be taken to
be the estimated total cost of complying with all of them. 

(5) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for the
purposes of this section as to the costs to be estimated and as to the
manner in which they are to be estimated. 

Notice of Refusal 

Please treat this letter as a Notice of Refusal as regards the information
covered by the Section 12(1) Exemption. 

Advice and Assistance 

The County Council recognises its statutory duty to provide advice and
assistance under Section 16 of the Act. Subject to the provisions of the
Freedom of Information Act, the Council is seeking to be transparent and
open in its response. 

Complaints 

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request an internal review by writing within 2 months
from the date of this response to the Information Governance Office: 

Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
NE61 2EF 

Email: [1][Northumberland County Council request email] 

Information Commissioner 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have a
right by Section 50 of the Act to apply to the Information Commissioner
for a decision as to whether your request has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act at: 

The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire 
SK9 5AF 

Tel: 01625 545 745 / Fax: 01625 524 510
Email: [2][email address

There is no charge for making an appeal. 

Yours sincerely 

FOI Coordinator - 
Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [3][Northumberland County Council request email] 
Web: [4]http://www.northumberland.gov.uk

References

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are David please sign in and let everyone know.