Wi-Fi plan gets tentative nod — with conditions | February 25, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 25, 2011

Wi-Fi plan gets tentative nod — with conditions

Final approval of controversial downtown Palo Alto antennas rests with City Council

by Sarah Trauben

A plan to mount two AT&T Wi-Fi antennas on a sixth-floor balcony at Hotel President, located at 488 University Ave. in Palo Alto, received a tentative endorsement from the city Wednesday night — as well as requirements intended to ease the concerns of hotel residents.

This story contains 654 words.

Stories older than 90 days are available only to subscribing members. Please help sustain quality local journalism by becoming a subscribing member today.

If you are already a subscriber, please log in so you can continue to enjoy unlimited access to stories and archives. Subscriptions start at $5 per month and may be cancelled at any time.

Log in     Subscribe

Editorial Intern Sarah Trauben can be e-mailed at strauben@paweekly.com.


Like this comment
Posted by give 'em iphones
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 24, 2011 at 9:31 am

I bet if AT&T gave free iphones to people in that building, they would all shut up. A little good will is a lot easier than ramming it down their throats.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2011 at 9:36 am

> "I'm … shocked that this entry into our apartments is to support
> a commercial service that doesn't benefit any of the residents of
> the building," sixth-floor tenant Jeffrey Jones said.

Hmmm .. no one in this building owns a laptop, netbook, iPad, or smart phone with WiFi capability that might be walking on University with their personal electronics and might want better connectivity? Of course there are!

WiFi won't be around that long. This technology will be replaced with something else in 5-7 years.

Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm

NIH says cellphones change brain chemistry:

(Reuters) - Spending 50 minutes with a cellphone plastered to your ear is enough to change brain cell activity in the part of the brain closest to the antenna.

But whether that causes any harm is not clear, scientists at the National Institutes of Health said on Tuesday, adding that the study will likely not settle recurring concerns of a link between cellphones and brain cancer.

"What we showed is glucose metabolism (a sign of brain activity) increases in the brain in people who were exposed to a cellphone in the area closet to the antenna," said Dr. Nora Volkow of the NIH, whose study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study was meant to examine how the brain reacts to electromagnetic fields caused by wireless phone signals.

Volkow said she was surprised that the weak electromagnetic radiation from cellphones could affect brain activity, but she said the findings do not shed any light on whether cellphones cause cancer.

"This study does not in any way indicate that. What the study does is to show the human brain is sensitive to electromagnetic radiation from cellphone exposures."

Use of the devices has increased dramatically since they were introduced in the early-to-mid 1980s, with about 5 billion mobile phones now in use worldwide.

Some studies have linked cellphone exposure to an increased risk of brain cancers, but a large study by the World Health Organization was inconclusive.

Volkow's team studied 47 people who had brain scans while a cellphone was turned on for 50 minutes and another while the phone was turned off.

While there was no overall change in brain metabolism, they found a 7 percent increase in brain metabolism in the region closest to the cellphone antenna when the phone was on.

Experts said the results were intriguing, but urged that they be interpreted with caution.

"Although the biological significance, if any, of increased glucose metabolism from acute cellphone exposure is unknown, the results warrant further investigation," Henry Lai of the University of Washington, Seattle, and Dr. Lennart Hardell of University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden, wrote in a commentary in


"Much has to be done to further investigate and understand these effects," they wrote.

Like this comment
Posted by JO
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm

The City keeps promoting high-density housing, yet keeps making it less and less desirable to live in such housing. Residents' health and privacy take a back seat to commercial interests, especially in these high density areas. Who cares about a resident's health and privacy when there is a gap in Wi-Fi coverage on University Ave? Note that AT&T was only asked to "consider" changes in antenna placement -- I wouldn't call that a "requirement."

Like this comment
Posted by don't blame the city
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 24, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Blame Apple its iphone owners for causing this problem. Does anyone else have problems with AT&T besides iphone owners?

Like this comment
Posted by ATT gets what ATT wants
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 27, 2011 at 3:48 pm

@JO: AT&T was only asked to "consider" changes in antenna placement -- I wouldn't call that a "requirement."
Right. Most, not all, of the Planning Commission are businessmen and they cant even think of denying AT&T anything. I guess they dont remember what a corrupt company it was, and if you study their web site, still is. They will sell you anything as long as you also buy a lot of other things you dont need.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.