On May 31, a Facebook page “Секрет гриффита Griffith’s secret გრიფით საიდუმლო“ posted a news in a Facebook group “შევაჩეროთ 5G საქართველოში” (“Let Us Stop the 5G Georgia”) that claimed that the 5G technology had been stopped in 11 countries and cities around the world. The list includes Brussels, Sweden, Glastonbury (the United Kingdom), 14 Italian cities including Rome, Cyprus, Malta, Switzerland, Ireland, France, Papua New Guinea, and the State of Louisiana. A Spanish webpage “plataforma ciudadana para la investigación judicial del sector energético” (“Citizen platform for judicial investigation of the energy sector”) was cited as the source. The webpage mostly publishes anti-5G articles and conspiracy theories.
The information that the named countries and cities allegedly stopped the 5G technology is manipulative and misleading. In fact, only two of the named 11 entities stated about stopping the technology. In six of them, the 5G technology is already available – including Sweden, Rome and several Italian cities, as well as Switzerland, Ireland, France, and the state of Louisiana (the United States). The 5G technology is being tested in Brussels, Belgium, while in Malta and Cyprus calls for tender are still open.
5G Technology in Europe and Louisiana
According to 5gobservatory.eu, a webpage created with the support of the European Union, the technology is already available in Sweden, several Italian cities including Rome, Switzerland, Ireland, and France.
Since May 24, the 5G network has been operating in Swedish cities of Stockholm, Malmö, and Gothenburg. It also functions in 19 Irish cities, including Dublin. In Italy, it has been available since 2019 for five cities including Rome and will cover 120 cities by 2021. Ninety percent of the population of Switzerland has an access to 5G Internet, as well as the French cities of Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, and Nantes.
In Brussels, 5G Internet operates in a test mode, whereas in Malta, it is not yet available, but not because of its government’s disapproval. Companies did not express interest in the call for tenders announced by the state, so a new call had to be announced. In Cyprus, the call for tenders is still open; several companies are participating in it and it is expected to end in 2020. According to the head of the state Electronic Communications Department, the service will be available in Cyprus from 2021.
On January 29, 2020, the European Commission endorsed a toolbox on 5G Internet, which indicates cybercrime as the main risk and provides recommendations to that end. According to the decision by the EU, 5G Internet should be available at least in one city of each EU member state by the end of 2020.
According to digitaltrends.com, 5G Internet is already available in New Orleans, Louisiana.
5G in Papua New Guinea and Glastonbury
According to a statement by the National Information and Communications Technology Authority of Papua New Guinea, the country does not plan on introducing the 5G technology, but explained that this has nothing to do with COVID-19 and the conspiracy theories surrounding 5G.
As BBC reported, the 5G technology has indeed been stopped in Glastonbury, UK. An advisory committee has been created in the city which fell under the influence of the widespread disinformation and decided that the technology posed threat to human health. Four experts left the committee after this decision as a sign of protest.
About the source
The Facebook page “Секрет гриффита Griffith’s secret გრიფით საიდუმლო“ was created on April 17, 2020. It had 794 subscribers as of May 22. It has disseminated various conspiracy theories about the alleged connection of the 5G Internet and Bill Gates with the coronavirus, as well as about freemasons and Ku-Klux-Klan. It stands out with anti-Western, homophobic, and anti-Feminist posts.
Prepared by Ana Chitaladze