Keeping The Quiet Zone Free From Wireless

A fascinating article in the latest edition of Wired Magazine looking at a 13,000 square mile region in West Virginia dubbed The Quiet Zone. It’s where the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope operates, and for it to operate properly, it cannot have any radio signal interference. The article focuses on the one guy whose job it’s been for two decades to track down and stop any rogue wireless transmitters in the region. He also works with local residents to plan carefully how to live in a region where just about any misdirected radio transmission is forbidden. It’s getting tougher – especially as most people now carry devices that transmit radio waves. The article doesn’t delve into it too deeply, but it also allows for an interesting look at issues dealing with radio frequency interference – a topic some are still insisting isn’t a problem any more. From the article, it certainly sounds like it’s still quite a problem. They admit that the radios are getting “smarter” and interference may not be as big a problem in the future, but it clearly still is one today. Anyway, I’d bet you won’t find any hotspots in that area.

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