Santa Fe Residents Claim “WiFi Allergies”

Disclaimer: I come from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Part of growing up in Albuquerque is developing a grudge against our small, inauthentic, touristy, hippie art collector-filled state capital 60 miles to the northeast. This story confirms all my stereotypes and prejudices.

Will all these people die from the wireless signals all around them?A couple of weeks ago, Ars reported on Santa Fe’s ill-fated municipal wireless plan. The plan was not heading for the dustbin for the usual reasons of excessive cost, little demand, and lagging technology. No, Santa Fe was facing a challenge from residents complaining of “wireless sensitivity.” Though this supposed allergy has been definitively debunked (after all, jillions of radio signals pass through us all the time without causing problems), the residents raised the specter of a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Today, Ars reports that the Santa Fe town council has finally decided to go ahead with the wireless plan, rejecting the nutty grievances.

While we at CEI oppose municipal wireless, we do so for good reasons such as the lack of need, large expenditures, tendency to lock-in old technologies, security risks, and sketchy public-private partnerships – not for absurd reasons such as allergies. We further hope that these disgruntled aging hippies won’t decide to next sue private users of wireless or prevent the rollout of new WiMax technology. Keep munching on your blue corn quesadillas, Santa Fe, and keep your ridiculous health claims from impeding the technological progress you eschew.