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Coronavirus fake news dismissed as Wolverhampton hailed 'world-leading 5G city'

Wolverhampton Council has dismissed conspiracies linking 5G to coronavirus - and confirmed the technology will still be rolled out across the city.

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The city has been chosen as a test site for the new super-fast broadband, alongside Birmingham. The Government is looking at making the West Midlands region a leading area for 5G.

A recent conspiracy theory online has linked the new technology to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Phone masts in Birmingham and Liverpool have reportedly been set fire to.

But Wolverhampton Council leader Ian Brookfield said: "Wolverhampton is one of the leading cities, if not in the world, regarding 5G.

"We are a 5G city. If people are worried, they should read advice from scientists and experts online."

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Wolverhampton currently has one 5G mast and others are set to be rolled out. There are plans to roll out masts in Sandwell too.

This work is being done alongside West Midlands 5G, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Asked about the 5G conspiracy, Sandwell Council leader Yvonne Davies said: "There is absolutely no connection to coronavirus and 5G. It is fake news.

"It is a shame people haven't got better things to do."

5G is helping to create new jobs within Wolverhampton. Council bosses consider it important in the future of the city's and region's industries.

A council spokesman added: "The council regularly reviews the evidence base around the risk of telecommunications. Scientists have widely discredited theories linking coronavirus to 5G and experts at Public Health England have also concluded that there are no known wider health risks.

"The current coronavirus crisis is a huge challenge to many of our families and businesses. It also highlights the importance of having a strong and effective digital infrastructure to support us to stay safe, keep businesses going and, most importantly, save lives.

"We’re committed to the rollout of this future proofed digital infrastructure. It’s critical we ensure the benefits reach local residents and businesses, as well as supporting the delivery of our public services. This has never been more important given the current challenges our region faces and how the economy recovers from them.

"The ongoing importance of the telecommunications industry has been recognised by the Government who have included it as one of the critical sectors, with telecommunications workers considered as Key Workers.

"We are working very closely with WM5G to support the rollout of 5G across the city."

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