All equipment used by Sail Internet complies with FCC regulations and all applicable standards related to electromagnetic radio frequencies (EM or EMF). In fact, the methods used by Sail Internet to deploy wireless connections emit levels much lower than many household electronic devices. Here is why.
Sail equipment consumes less than 100 Watts, similar to a single light bulb. In other words, the equipment we install will output a lower wireless signal than your mobile phone. In addition, because our antennas are not pointing towards a house but towards other rooftops, the signal that reaches the house is about 100 times weaker. Because the signal crosses a roof and interior walls, it is weakened by another factor of 10. For these reasons, the combined attenuation of our equipment is approximately 1000 times lower than a common WiFi router.
The longer version is this. There are two types of wireless connections used by Sail Internet:
- Point-to-point wireless links. These are used to connect large buildings like condominium and apartment complexes, and also to connect hub homes where Sail Internet access points are installed. Such point-to-point links use highly directional antennas and typically require alignment within a few degrees. This means that the electromagnetic transmission is focused along a "pencil beam" well above roof-level. Transmitted power levels are required to be very low, and there is no health risk even in the hypothetical but very unlikely case of someone standing in front of the beam. It is nearly impossible to detect transmitted power even a few feet away from the beam.
- Point-to-multipoint wireless links. These are used to connect Sail Internet access points to customer radios on roofs of single-family homes. This wireless technology is based on existing standards previously used for indoor WiFi, but is using improved antennas and hardened hardware for operating outdoors. As opposed to indoor WiFi, the antennas are highly directional and are aimed at roof-level to achieve the best performance. These wireless signals are weakened and deflected by walls and windows to a degree that they become hard to detect indoors. In contrast to cellular wireless, point-to-multipoint wireless links by Sail Internet require very low amounts of power to be transmitted. That is because Sail Internet installs access points much more densely than traditional cell towers, which shortens the distance between transmitters and receivers.
According to Sail Internet calculations, electric and magnetic fields from Sail Internet equipment inside a home is typically at least 1000 times weaker than from common electronic devices such as WiFi routers and smartphones.
For more information on EMF exposure and health concerns, visit the CDC's resources or the NIH website. The FCC also publishes information on radio frequency safety.
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