March 5, 2016
Telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has updated the information on its Sitefinder website, which provides information about every mobile phone mast in the UK, including the names of operators, locations and power levels.
However, the regulator is appealing to the High Court, against a ruling by the Information Commissioner that the public should have access to the full Sitefinder website.
The ruling was made in September 2015, despite Ofcom’s assertion that this was an unreasonable intrusion into the privacy of network operators.
The Sitefinder website was established following the Stewart Report into the effects of mobile phones on health. The report said that although there was no evidence that mobile phone masts were detrimental to health, the public should still have the right to know where they are.
Network operators provide the information voluntarily to Sitefinder, but were unhappy about the Information Tribunal’s ruling that Ofcom must provide the public with access to the Sitefinder database as a whole, as well as allowing people to search small areas as they can now.
After several months of discussions, mobile operators, excluding T-Mobile, have agreed to provide one more update on mast details, while Ofcom appeals against the decision to the High Court.
The operators are concerned about commercial confidentiality and the risk of terrorism, if the locations of all the masts in the UK are revealed.