President aims to silence 5G conspiracy theories  

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President Nicos Anastasiades has urged authorities to launch a campaign to combat 5G conspiracy theories while accelerating the process of digitalising the Cyprus economy and society.

Speaking at the Presidential Palace on Thursday, after having received the report from communications commissioner George Michaelides, Anastasiades said that a campaign should be launched targeting misinformation.

“[Some people] instead of observing the evolution of technology and making the most it, fall prey to conspiracies,” Anastasiades.

“For 5G there must be a campaign by providers…to nullify the arguments of the conspiracy theorists.”

Anastasiades noted that in the past, objections to 5G networks in Cyprus have led to “illegal and criminal activities”.

Antennas and telephone masts have been torched in Cyprus while several demonstrations were called against 5G over health fears also linking the rollout with COVID-19 conspiracies.

In late September, the Ormidia community council declared the village a 5G free zone – effectively attempting to ban the technology in its area.

The Telecommunications Commissioner argued that 5G is not merely the technological advancement of 4G but an infrastructure on its own which will change our way of life, introducing smart cities and new services.

“The economy and security of citizens will depend on 5G, so it must be ensured that information is circulated in the most secure way. This is our responsibility in relation to 5G”.

Michaelides said that security protocols for 5G have been issued while steps have been made to making Cyprus a regional Cybersecurity Certification Center.

The President and the Communications Commissioner said efforts are underway to upgrade internet speeds and bids for 5G contracts are underway.

As Michaelides noted, the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CyTA) has accelerated its work on laying out fibre optic network, laying the groundwork for a faster system and the rollout of 5G.

Providers licensed to operate 5G have an obligation to cover 70% of the population of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as all highways with speeds of at least 100 Mbps, by 31 December 2025.

To reach the ‘Gigabit Society’ goal set by the European Commission countries are encouraged to utilise multiple policy measures and financial instruments to encourage private and public investments in fast and ultra-fast networks.

These measures will help Europeans and businesses reap the full benefits of digitalisation.

According to the ‘Gigabit Society,’ all European households should have access to 100 Mbps connections by 2025 with the possibility to upgrade those networks to reach much higher speeds.

Main socio-economic drivers – schools, universities, research centres, transport hubs, hospitals, public administrations relying on digital technologies – should have access to gigabit connectivity.