Misinformation is creating a barrier to the rollout of 5G technology, with 20% of the Irish public believing there are health risks associated with it, a new survey has found.
Deloitte's Digital Trends Survey for 2020 focuses on attitudes towards 5G and found that Ireland compares favourably in terms of 5G rollout, but that the level of the public’s understanding of its benefits is low.
The installation of 5G technology has been met with opposition, with some masts being damaged over perceived concerns about the health implications of the technology.
5G is the latest iteration in mobile phone technology offering faster speeds and more reliability.
The survey found that only 5% of respondents are currently using 5G, while 24% would switch as soon as it is available. This compares favourably with the UK, where only 2% of respondents claim to currently use 5G.
John Kehoe, audit partner with Deloitte, said misinformation is always a barrier to technological progress.
"As part of our survey, 20% of respondents agreed with the statement that there are health risks associated with 5G, and another 25% neither agreed nor disagreed," he said.
"That is a worryingly high number and is further exacerbated by the fact that based on our survey, a greater proportion of young people aged 18-24 believe there are health risks (27%), compared to 20% overall, and 7% of those aged 65-75.
"There needs to be a concerted effort to promote the benefits of 5G to the general consumer.”