The Curious Case of Green Bank, West Virginia: The Town Without Wi-Fi or Cell Service

Green Bank, West Virginia

This fascinating article from Washingtonian Magazine examines the curious case of Green Bank, a tiny town in West Virginia that has no cell service, Wi-Fi, or many other forms of electromagnetic radiation. The lack of radio signals is due to the town’s location in the United States National Radio Quiet Zone. The zone–a 13,000-square-mile rectangle encompassing parts of West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland–was established in 1958 to protect radio telescopes at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, and military antennas and receivers at the United States Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) at Sugar Grove, also in West Virginia.

The Quiet Zone strictly regulates radio transmissions of all kinds, which has led to a most unusual influx of new residents in recent years: people who believe they suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS). Electrosensitives, as the people describe themselves, have begun moving to Green Bank to escape the cellular signals, Wi-Fi, and other electromagnetic radiation that they associate with a wide variety of symptoms, from headaches to rashes. However, EHS is not recognized by the mainstream science and medical communities, as most studies have failed to establish a link between electromagnetic radiation and the condition’s purported symptoms.

photo by Joshua Cogan

via The Presurfer