Ra­dio sell-off could wreck hear­ing aids

Threat from mo­bile phones, says char­ity

Daily Mirror - - SQUARE EYES - BY AN­DREW GRE­GORY Health Edi­tor an­drew.gre­gory@mir­ror.co.uk

THOU­SANDS could suf­fer prob­lems with their hear­ing aids be­cause of a Gov­ern­ment sell-off of ra­dio fre­quen­cies, a char­ity claims.

The Na­tional Deaf Chil­dren’s So­ci­ety says the sale to mo­bile phone firms could leave too small a gap be­tween bands.

Many hear­ing de­vices op­er­ate within the 2.40 to 2.485 GHz fre­quency range. But Of­com is propos­ing to

GHzFEARS auction the 2.35 to 2.39 fre­quen­cies, leav­ing an in­ad­e­quate pro­tec- tion zone. The char­ity’s tech chief Chris Bow­den said: “The test­ing so far is woe­fully in­suf­fi­cient and nowhere near enough to be able to give a true pic­ture of the im­pact this will have. Dur­ing test­ing, one hear­ing aid lost au­dio, two other de­vices stopped work­ing com­pletely and sev­eral ra­dio aids ex­pe­ri­enced a 33% re­duc­tion in range. The char­ity is call­ing for Of­com to post­pone the auction un­til they can prove it will have no im­pact on the hear­ing-im­paired. But an Of­com spokesman said: “We’ve car­ried out care­ful tests of de­vices and sought ev­i­dence from across the deaf com­mu­nity to help en­sure these de­vices won’t be af­fected. “We do not feel that alarmist pre­dic­tions serve the in­ter­ests of peo­ple who are deaf or hard of hear­ing.” A PEN­SIONER who shot dead his wife in a care home has been sen­tenced to six years in a psy­chi­atric hospi­tal.

Ron­ald King, who has Alzheimer’s, killed Rita, 81, with a vin­tage re­volver. She had se­vere de­men­tia.

King, 87, of Wal­ton-on-the-Naze, Es­sex, ad­mit­ted man­slaugh­ter af­ter the shoot­ing at the nearby care home in De­cem­ber. He said he wanted to end her suf­fer­ing. Judge Charles Gratwicke told him at Chelms­ford crown court: “This was not a mercy killing in the sense the ex­pres­sion is mainly used.”

MEN­TAL ILL­NESS Killer King suf­fers from Alzheimer’s DE­MEN­TIA Rita was 81 WEAPON The gun

Hear­ing aids

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