surinenglish

The town in America where wi-fi has been banned

  • Green Bank, in West Virginia

There are no mobile phones or wi-fi in the town of Green Bank, in West Virginia, because the government's massive, highly sensitive Robert C Byrd radio telescope is based there and anything which could interfere with its listening power is prohibited, 24 hours a day, every day.

Because of the telescope, Green Bank has been part of a government-enforced National Radio Quiet Zone since the 1950s, so the development of new technology has somewhat passed local residents by. The only permitted means of communication in the town and within a ten-square-mile radius of it are landline telephones and very slow wired internet.

This may seem inconvenient to many, but word has spread and the lack of technology has unexpectedly brought the town an influx of new residents and regular visitors: Green Bank has become a magnet for people who believe they are electrosensitive.

Sufferers are arriving in the town from all over the USA and most say they feel physically better. For many, though, adapting to a different, technology-free way of life is not proving easy.