Stadiums by their very nature attract large crowds — with anywhere between thirty to one hundred thousand fans crowded into a venue, all using their portable devices to communicate with each other and the outside world while watching the action below. This puts pressure on existing networks, so the stadiums have come up with a plan to increase coverage and keep their patrons connected — install continuous WiFi.
According to an article published earlier this month by Above Ground Level Media Group, this is already being rolled out at sport stadiums across the country, with two-thirds of National Football League and Major League Baseball stadiums now sporting WiFi.
Professional sports venues are following suit. At the start of the 2014 baseball season, AT&T Park, home to the San Francisco Giants, opened it gates to sports fans who can now access the internet for free via over 1200 WiFi network points sited in both the seating areas and concourses.
Well this may sound very appealing to fans, who now have the convenience of browsing and communicating for free at these venues using these freely available WiFi networks, there is also a downside. Because it is often difficult to position WiFi antennas in close proximity to fans at stadiums — especially in open stadiums that lack a ceiling or back wall that is close enough to the seating area — technological innovators, Ventev, have come up with an ‘ingenious’ solution to enable fans to be able to pick up the WiFi signal. They have developed a compact, scaled down antenna and access point that can be fitted under the stadiums seats.
But what about the health dangers of WiFi? Has anybody considered the impact of these antennas on human health? Have any studies been done to determine the EMF radiation emitted by these antennas, and their effect on the human body?
Unlike a personal device such as a cell phone, iPad or laptop, which all have radiation issues of their own, but which users can take precautions to prevent their exposure to EMFs if they choose to do so, patrons at these venues will in most cases be completely oblivious that they are sitting directly on top of a WiFi antenna that could in all likelihood be damaging their health. A WiFi antenna is basically a scaled down cell phone tower that emits EMF radiation constantly, so even if fans are not using a cell phone or other personal device they may still be affected if they are sitting on or near enough to a seat that is fitted with a WiFi antenna that is emitting radio frequency signals. Now times that by 1200 mini WiFi antennae installed in a stadium; the cumulative effect could be up to 1200 times worse.
Yet, WiFi is being installed at major stadiums across the US, as well thousands of other public venues. The true impact of this may may only be known in years to come.