A small town in West Virginia bans cell phones and Wi-Fi for the sake of science.
Green Bank, West Virginia is located in the Allegheny Mountain Range and is part of the National Radio Quiet Zone, a rectangular chunk of land that measures 13,000 square miles. Radio and other signals are limited within the area to help gather scientific and military intelligence.
Green Bank, which houses the world's largest moveable telescope, goes a step further and does not allow cellphones or Wi-Fi within its borders, according to CBS Pittsburgh.
"For people in the immediate area of the telescope, we really need the quiet," Jay Lockman of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory told the news station. The 500-foot telescope searches outer space for radio signals. Any interference makes it hard for the telescope to pick up those signals.
"I guess in some sense, you can say they can't have 2016. They're living in 1990."
There are landline phones in the town, and for people traveling through, there's a phone for public use at Trent's General Store. There are also payphones.
Other things that are regulated because of the telescope are microwave ovens (they're wrapped in steel boxes to prevent waves from interfering with the telescope) and even automatic doors at a local store (the doors had to be removed).
"It would be like trying to listen to music with a jackhammer nearby," Lockman told CBS of the interference caused by everyday items.
According to Newsweek,
50-60 of Green Bank's 143 residents suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity — so living in the quiet and quaint unincorporated town is a good thing for them.
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