Half of Aussies are concerned about risks of 5G, survey finds

More than 50 per cent of people would not buy a house near a 5G tower, according to a new survey of Australians about the new technology.

Dec 22, 2020, updated Dec 23, 2020

Telco comparison site WhistleOut surveyed 1000 people to gauge public attitude to 5G as companies continue rollouts around the country.

One in four believe the technology poses a health risk, 27 per cent are worried it could be used to spy, and 56 per cent said they won’t buy a house too close to a 5G tower.

Ten per cent of respondents think 5G makes people more susceptible to COVID-19.

The technology has been linked to a series of fanciful and groundless conspiracy theories, including being somehow related to the pandemic.

WhistleOut spokesperson Kenny McGilvary said there was concern about health risks associated with 5G early in the technology’s emergence, but reservations appeared to be largely “put to bed”.

“We have been fielding fewer questions about 5G health risks, and the launch of the iPhone 12 range appeared to have changed the focus of the 5G conversation towards what it can do for us, rather than what it might do to us,” he said.

However the results of the survey came as a surprise.

“It’s clear many people are cautious about our 5G future, with more than half of all respondents saying they won’t buy a house with a 5G tower in the area, and less than half wanting to live in a fully connected 5G world.”

The survey also revealed that while most people (91 per cent) understood 5G promised faster network speeds, only a third were aware of other benefits such as lower latency (31 per cent) and more simultaneously connected devices (32 per cent).

Half of respondents were still generally confused about the technology.

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