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School more worried about asbestos than Wi-Fi

Netgear supplies a great deal of wireless equipment to schools

One school is more concerned about the asbestos in their buildings than putting in wireless networks, according to a leading reseller. The topic of wireless safety within schools came up at a Netgear -organised roundtable we attended at The Wireless Event taking place on Wednesday and Thursday at London's Olympia.

The roundtable participants were asked about this week's Panorama, which focused on the increased use of wireless within school environments. The programme alleged wireless networks gave out as much radiation as mobile phone masts - a finding which some scientists branded as "unscientific".

Dan Mardell, technical consultant for Netgear reseller Total Computer Networks, put things in perspective. "I have been speaking to a school [about a network] and spoke to them [again] after the Panorama programme."

Mardell said they had spoken briefly about the issue, only for the teacher to say he was more concerned that "the school has 80 per cent asbestos".

A Netgear representative was also vocal on the issue: "We'll just carry on with what we're doing, confident that all our products are within the legal guidelines," said Netgear's small business and schools channel manager Peter Airs. "Everywhere you go [there is] wireless, or wireless fog as Panorama put it.

"If there were immediate short term illness we'd know by now."