What’s Happening at the Federal Communications Commission?

What’s Happening at the Federal Communications Commission?

(Please note that this new development discussed at the post directly below may positively impact some of the FCC’s actions regarding preempting local zoning rights.)

The FCC Has No Authority To Overturn State Law Says Court

 

FCC Actions


As with other branches of our government, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is pulling out all the stops in an effort to find ways to streamline the deployment of 4g/5g “small” cells.  Following is an update on some of these actions.


1.  On April 20th, 2017, the FCC announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry — WT Docket Nos. 17-79 and 15-180.

“This NPRM [Notice of Proposed Rule Making] examines regulatory impediments to wireless infrastructure investment and deployment and proposes measures to help remove or reduce such impediments. In this section, we address the process for reviewing and deciding on wireless facility deployment applications conducted by State and local regulatory agencies. We propose several potential measures or clarifications intended to expedite such review pursuant to our authority under Sections 332 of the Communications Act.”  

Public comment is open till June 9th, and Reply Comments (replying to comments submitted on this docket) are open through July 10th.  For more information, go to – https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/033043087115/DOC-344160A1.pdf where you will find a 50 page document that is likely more than most of us want to deal with.  But presumably, the gist of it is this docket is intended to “promote the rapid deployment of advanced wireless broadband service to all Americans.” 

According to an employee at the FCC who was quite up on the wireless issues, the Commission does not have to consider matters involving health effects from RF/MW radiation since that is not what they are seeking comment on in this docket.  Basically, the FCC wants us to play ball with them by not addressing the “elephant in the room” – health.  But as small cell deployment can impact people economically or through ADA violations, presumably those issues would be considered on topic.


2.  The 2013 Docket, ET Docket No. 03-137, on revising the RF/MW radiation Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE) limits is still open!  And although technically public comment was closed years ago, according to the same FCC employee, Comments are still “trickling in” and do get filed.  He was not able to speak to what is holding up a ruling on this docket.

Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) in ET Docket No. 03-137 http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2013/db0422/FCC-13-39A1.pdf
This is a 200 page document, but presumably, the gist of it is, “The Inquiry is intended to open discussion on both the currency of our RF exposure limits and possible policy approaches regarding RF exposure. We look forward to developing a complete record to determine whether the current rules and policies should remain unchanged, or should be relaxed or tightened.”  

For a short summary of ET Docket No. 03-137, check out this link – http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-seeks-to-reassess-rf-exposure-limits

 

Instructions for submitting comments to the FCC:

https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/how-comment#comments


3.  The FCC is currently forming a Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC):

“On January 31, 2017, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced the formation of a new federal advisory committee, the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC or Committee), which will provide advice and recommendations for the Commission on how to accelerate the deployment of high-speed Internet access. The Commission intends to establish the BDAC for a period of two (2) years, with an expected starting date during the spring of 2017. [The first meeting was April 21st, 2017.]
According to the FCC:
“The BDAC’s mission will be to make recommendations for the Commission on how to accelerate the deployment of high-speed Internet access, or ‘broadband,’ by reducing and/or removing regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment. This Committee is intended to provide an effective means for stakeholders with interests in this area to exchange ideas and develop recommendations for the Commission, which will in turn enhance the Commission’s ability to carry out its statutory responsibility to encourage broadband deployment to all Americans.”

There will be five working groups in BDAC: 

1. Model Code for Municipalities
2. Model Code for States
3. Competitive Access to Broadband Infrastructure
4. Removing State and Local Regulatory Barriers
5.  Streamlining Federal Siting

Health and environmental issues will not be addressed in any of these groups.



Letter to the FCC: 

Not quite clear on how the FCC actions described above fit together, I sent the following letter to two officials who work in the Wireless Broadband Deployment devision at the FCC, and followed up with a call to both of them.  I am still awaiting a response…and not holding my breath.  


Dear Mr. Mantiply and Mr. Doczkat: 

By way of introduction, I have no official title except for fellow human being seeking honest answers for myself, my children, my grandchildren, humanity, wildlife, and our Earth.  

I have 3 questions that perhaps you can answer or, if not, direct me to the right person for answers:  

1.  Is the 2013 ET Docket No. 03-137 on Maximum Permissible Exposure limits (MPE) of radio frequency/microwave radiation still open?  And if so, can the public submit comments or reply comments on it?  And will our comments be added to the official file? [ Although another FCC employee had told me this docket was still accepting comments, i wanted confirmation before writing this post.] 

2.  What is holding this up?  It has now been four years since this long awaited and overdue Docket was finally opened, and the public is still awaiting protection while the wireless industry is bull-dozing ahead full speed with 5g “small cell” deployment. 

3. On the FCC website, I found this statement about ET Docket No. O3-137: “The Inquiry is intended to open discussion on both the currency of our RF exposure limits and possible policy approaches regarding RF exposure. We look forward to developing a complete record to determine whether the current rules and policies should remain unchanged, or should be relaxed or tightened.” 

And yet there is another Docket that was opened on 4/20/2017 – Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry WT Docket Nos. 17-79 and 15-180 aka “Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure” – that is seeking comment on what the FCC should do to accelerate the deployment of 5g infrastructure.  

How can the FCC consider or enact changes that would impede local communities from protecting themselves from the RF/MW radiation coming off of cell towers, antennas, and “small cells,” in close proximity to homes, when the Commission has not yet determined an up to date safe exposure limit?  

Thank you for your prompt response.  

Most Sincerely, 

Of note:

 

1.  The National Institute of Science, Law, and Public Policy (NISLAPP) is calling for the FCC to “inform the  American public about the radiation risks of cellphones and wireless transmitting devices and how these risks can be reduced.”

For the full document, Inform the Public of Wireless Tech Risks — 33 Recommendations for the Federal Communications Commission, please click here.

 

2.  A few elected representatives from Montgomery County, MD met with the FCC commissioners and staff to discuss “concerns” that many members of their community have expressed about the “siting of wireless telecommunications antennas and structures, including the health impacts of antennas, and the potential for proliferation of antennas in residential neighborhoods.”  As recounted by County Executive, Isiah Leggett, Montgomery County officials strongly advocated against the potential federal preemption of local zoning rights.  The full report can be found at this link – http://whatis5g.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/MoCo-County-Executive-Memo-to-FCC.pdf


Montgomery County will be holding a follow-up community meeting in the Executive Office Building cafeteria (101 Monroe Street in downtown Rockville) at 7PM on Wednesday, June 14th.  The purpose of the community meeting will be to discuss with the public the County’s newly-drafted Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA). The public is encouraged to attend!! (For County Executive Leggett’s discussion of ZTA click here.)

 

3.  Finally, on Thursday, June 8th there will be an “Event” in Washington DC, hosted by the information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), How Municipalities and Industry Can Collaborate to Spur Broadband Deployment. The ITIF’s stated mission is to “…promote new ways of thinking about technology-driven productivity, competitiveness and globalization,” so this meeting will likely not represent public sentiment in a balanced way.  For more information go to, https://itif.org/events/2017/06/08/how-municipalities-and-industry-can-collaborate-spur-broadband-deployment

 

Speakers:

• Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
• Robert Atkinson, President, ITIF (moderator)
• Van Bloys, Senior Government Affairs Counsel, Wireless Infrastructure Association
• Joanne Hovis, President, CTC Technology & Energy
• Hans Riemer, At-Large Member, Montgomery County Council

An interesting side note about the ITIF is that every year they choose a recipient for the Luddite Award for the “Year’s Worst Innovation Killer.”  Following is a quote from their 2015 nominee page:
“Neo-Luddites have wide-ranging targets, including everything from genetically modified organisms to new Internet apps, artificial intelligence, and even productivity itself.”  
Proud to be a ITIF Luddite!!
Message from Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D. to Federal, State, and Local Governments, and Communities on 5G “Small Cells”

Message from Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D. to Federal, State, and Local Governments, and Communities on 5G “Small Cells”

Please see the message at the link below from Ronald M. Powell (retired U.S. Government scientist; Ph.D., Applied Physics, Harvard University) to Federal, State, and Local Governments, and Communities urging them to oppose the expansion of cellular technology, especially 5G, on health grounds.

 

The proponents of expanding cellular technology, especially the new Fifth Generation (5G) of cellular technology, are endeavoring to use each level of government to bar lower levels of government, as well as communities and individuals, from resisting the installation of 5G cell towers right in front of homes and businesses, including yours.  This one-page document explains why you should oppose this assault on local rule on health grounds.  The footnotes point to sources of additional information.

 

Message from Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D. —  Please Oppose 5G –  http://whatis5g.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Please-Oppose-5G.pdf


Links to the two Documents by Ronald M. Powell cited in footnotes in his message. 

Why We Should Oppose 5G on Health Grounds – https://www.scribd.com/document/339826676/Why-We-Should-Oppose-5G-on-Health-Grounds

The Health Argument against Cell Phones and Cell Towers – https://www.scribd.com/document/320935636/The-Health-Argument-against-Cell-Phones-and-Cell-Towers

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE for Rally Outside the FCC

PRESS RELEASE for Rally Outside the FCC

A coalition of groups dedicated to raising awareness about the harms of wireless radiation will be holding a rally on April 20th, outside the Federal Communications Commission to oppose the forced installation of 4G/5G “small cells” in our neighborhoods and to protect the zoning rights of local communities in siting decisions for wireless infrastructure.

4G/5G would deliver hundreds of thousands of new cell phone towers outfitting virtually every utility pole or lamppost around the country with a “small cell” antenna.

Each “small cell” would come equipped with a power supply – potentially the size of a refrigerator – that would greatly impact the aesthetics of communities.

Thousands of independent scientific studies have shown that RF/MW radiation causes adverse health effects. According to many experts, the densification of our neighborhoods with wireless 4G/5G antennas and other wireless infrastructure may prove to be a very ill-conceived idea.

Fiber Optic cable, on the other hand, is a safe, fast, reliable, and far more cyber-secure alternative, and does not impact our health. Echoing the views of many scientists and medical experts, those rallying are calling for fiber-optic cables to every home, school, and business instead of 4G/5G wireless antennas and infrastructure.

The coalition of groups are asking that

  • 4G/5G small cells not be forcibly placed next to homes and in residential neighborhoods
  • The wireless industry not preempt local zoning rights regarding the placement of wireless infrastructure
  • Every home, school, and business be connected with safe, reliable, cyber-secure, fiber optic cables.

For more information about the rally, please go to, http://whatis5g.info/action/2017/04/event-outside-the-federal-communications-commission-fcc/

For more information about 5G, please go to http://whatis5g.info

 

 

 

How many pizza boxes represent the volume of one DAS antenna?

How many pizza boxes represent the volume of one DAS antenna?

To combat a prevalent marketing, branding lie – “DAS antennas are the size of a pizza box” –  repeated by the CTIA, Wireless carriers, and legislators, I measured carefully, built a demo prop, photographed, and did the math. The prop, the photos, and the numbers do not lie. I cannot say the same for the Wireless companies, the CTIA, their lobbyists, or our legislators.

Inquiring minds need to know:  How many actual pizza boxes represent the volume of one DAS antenna, excluding all support equipment.

Answer: 10 to 60 pizza boxes.

DAS = Distributed Antenna System
Pizza Box (Domino’s Extra Large) = 16.25″ x 16.25″ x 2.00″ = 0.30 cubic feet (photo below)
Pizza Box (Domino’s Small) = 10.25″ x 10.25″ x 1.75″ = 0.10 cubic feet (photo below)
DAS Antenna volume allowed in SB.649 = 3 to 6 cubic feet (photo below)

SB.649 Wireless Telecommunications Facilities Bill Text: SEC. 3. Section 65964.2 is added to the Government Code, to read:
(e) (1) (A)
(i) “Any individual antenna, excluding the associated equipment, is individually no more than three cubic feet in volume, and all antennas on the structure total no more than six cubic feet in volume, whether in a single array or separate.

20(ii) (I) The associated equipment on pole structures does not exceed 21 cubic feet for poles that can support fewer than three providers or 28 cubic feet for pole collocations that can support at least three providers, or the associated equipment on nonpole structures does not exceed 28 cubic feet for collocations that can support fewer than three providers or 35 cubic feet for collocations that can support at least three providers.”

http://scientists4wiredtech.com/2017/03/us-senate-wireless-hearing/

Scott Bergmann, VP, CTIA – The Wireless Association in his 3/2/2017 Testimony to the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation:

“Right now today there are challenges both with the local zoning process and, as you mentioned, with federal agencies, so we would certainly appreciate this committee’s attention to finding opportunities to right size that process so that we exclude small cells where appropriate that are the size of a pizza box or a lunch box. I don’t think anyone thinks it’s a process that applies to a 200-foot tower should apply, when you are putting a lunch box on top of an existing building.”

CA Senator Ben Hueso Testimony, Bill Sponsor (most likely reading a CTIA-provided script) in his 4/4/17 testimony to the CA Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee:

“Building the wireless network of tomorrow requires the rapid deployment of small cell [structures] often no larger than a pizza box — and that’s a small pizza box [audience laughter] and you can see it here [more audience laughter]. We brought an example of one [the demo prop that Vice Chairman Morrrel did allow in to the CA Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee Hearing on SB.649].

Steve Carlson, Counsel, CTIA – The Wireless Association in his 4/4/17 Testimony to the CA Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee:

(Carlson stands up and hefts the antenna with two hands to shoulder level) “This is the refrigerator that some people have been talking about.” (No one had yet mentioned the word ‘refrigerator’ in testimony at that point, Steve.)


Audience: “No, it [the refrigerator] is the power supply.” (the demo prop that Vice Chairman Morrrel did not allow into the CA Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee Hearing on SB.649)

You can see additional video clips here: http://scientists4wiredtech.com/2017/04/oppose-ca-sb-649/


Steve Carlson: laughter

CA Senator Ben Hueso Testimony, Bill Sponsor continues: “These small structures are far different and in many ways much preferable to traditionally large macro-cell towers.”

Steve Carlson, Counsel, CTIA – The Wireless Association continues:

“We are working to enhance infrastructure to maximize the performance of today’s fourth generation wireless and prepare for the next generation of connectivity, 5G. Small cells with strengthen existing 4G Networks while serving as the building blocks for 5G . . . it is critically important that California policy makers take action to remove unnecessarily obstructive barriers to innovation and investment while balancing municipal interests. We believe SB.649 does that.”

An opposition speaker from Scientists For Wired Technology, in his 4/4/17 Testimony to the CA Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee:

“In addition to this prop here [pointing to a DAS antenna that the CTIA left on the table], which is relatively small, the bill actually says that the antenna can be three to six cubic feet. I know of no pizza box at my Domino’s that is three to six cubic feet. That’s just a marketing, branding lie. In addition, the power supply for this antenna [according to SB.649 is allowed to be] 28 to 35 cubic feet. That is larger than a refrigerator.”

Here are the actual measurements, Senator Hueso. We will publish this all at http://scientists4wiredtech.com

Domino’s Small Pizza Box = 10.25″ x 10.25″ x 1.75″ = 0.1 cubic feet

Domino’s Extra Large Pizza Box = 16.25″ x 16.25″ x 2.0″ = 0.3 cubic feet
 

Protest Rally Planned Outside the FCC to Oppose 4G/5G So-Called “Small Cell” Antennas Next to Our Homes

Protest Rally Planned Outside the FCC to Oppose 4G/5G So-Called “Small Cell” Antennas Next to Our Homes

PRESS RELEASE – April 13, 2017

The Wireless Telecom Industry is hell bent on installing 4G/5G antennas and infrastructure in the public rights of way in residential communities around the country and are aggressively pushing legislation on the federal, state, and local levels. A coalition of groups, dedicated to raising awareness about the harms of wireless radiation, is holding a rally on April 20th, outside the Federal Communications Commission to oppose the forced installation of 5G “small cells” in our neighborhoods and to protect the zoning rights of local communities in siting decisions for wireless infrastructure.

4G/5G will deliver hundreds of thousands of new cell phone towers outfitting virtually every utility pole or lamppost with a “small cell” antenna beaming hazardous radiation into our homes 24/7.  Each “small cell” comes equipped with a power supply – potentially the size of a refrigerator – that will greatly impact the aesthetics of our neighborhoods.

Thousands of independent scientific studies have shown that RF/MW radiation causes adverse health effects. According to many experts, the densification of our neighborhoods with wireless 4G/5G antennas and other infrastructure may prove to be a very ill-conceived idea.

Fiber Optic cable, on the other hand, is a safe, healthy, fast, reliable, and far more cyber-secure alternative. Echoing the views of many scientists, those rallying are calling for fiber-optic cables to every home, school, and business instead of hazardous 4G/5G antennas and infrastructure.

  • If you do NOT want a small cell beaming radiation into your home 24/7
  • If you do NOT want the wireless industry preempting local zoning rights
  • If you DO want to connect all homes, schools, and businesses with safe, reliable, cyber-secure, fiber optic cables

. . . then please join us for a demonstration outside the FCC Offices from 9:00 – 10:15 am on April 20th (445 12th St SW, Washington, DC 20554). You are encouraged to also attend the FCC open meeting that will be held from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm that same day.

For more information about the rally, please go to, http://whatis5g.info/action/2017/04/event-outside-the-federal-communications-commission-fcc/

For more information about 5G, please go to http://whatis5g.info