Governor Jerry Brown
Attn: Tom Dyer
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Please initiate an investigation and VETO SB649
Dear Governor Jerry Brown,
I would like to bring to your attention a concern that I have and hope that you and your staff will cause it to be investigated by the properly enforcing entity; it relates to California Senate Bill 649; This is more reason to VETO SB 649!
A brief history of California broadband
In 1993 the “California First” plan was based on spending $16 billion to rewire the state with fiber optics cable “…replacing the old, in use, copper wiring”.
The cost to bring fiber optics to residential phone customers/ratepayers was estimated at that time to be about $1,000 per household. Is was stated that this money would be “…covered by telephone rates” paid by us the customer. These telephone rates increased 138% from 2008 to 2016, with ancillary services, such as caller ID and Call Waiting increasing 60% to 525%!
The promise in 1993 was to provide broadband services to more than 1.5 million homes by the end of 1996, 5 million homes by the end of the decade.” This was to facilitate “telemedicine” “learning and education” TV, “multi-media” to name a few.
The promise was also made for schools, community colleges and libraries to have computer and video networks. They predicted by the year 2,000 every classroom will be wired to handle voice, data and video telecommunications.
Please review the Huffington Post article of August 23, 2017, titled “Californians Paid Billions Extra: The State Assembly Should Investigate AT&T’s Cross-Subsidies”.
Also, for your information this Huffington Post article has an important link, explaining California Broadband History.
Further, the Huffington Post article states in 1993, [t]he new plan…is to just shut off the copper wires and force-march customers onto wireless, where, conveniently, the same company controls the wires that are used to the wireless networks, which were built, in large part, paid for by these customers.”
This first Huffington Post article concluded that what is really needed are investigations and audits of AT&T’s financial books, NOW.
As there is an investigation of Verizon New York by the NY State Public Service Commission that corroborated the Huffington Post findings; that there are massive financial cross-subsidies between and among the wireline state utility and all of the other Verizon affiliates, including the wireless company. AT&T California appears to be doing the same financial dishonesty.
The second article written by the Huffington Post is titled “Expose: AT&T California Fiber Optic Scandal: Billions Charged for Broadband that Never Showed Up.”
This article states that, “[v]irtually no one knows the history of fiber optic broadband in America, much less what happened in their state, even though they were charged thousands of dollars per household. Instead, in 2017, we get embarrassing proposed laws, such as SB-649 in California, which claims that if the State just frees the companies from regulations, they will deliver new, ‘fabulous’, broadband wireless services. These are tied to other bills and new proposed regulations, including current FCC proceedings to ‘shut off the copper’ and replace it with wireless. It is time for investigations, not new gifts to AT&T et al.” (Emphasis Added)
The citizens of California have a right to be safe. I ask that you in your official capacity please do everything possible to institute safety measures that are safe for the public.
The citizens have a right to safe, secure, reliable, extremely high speed, highest capacity, most reliable and energy efficient internet. Fiber optic broadband delivers all these.
Fiber optic broadband is secure, unlike wireless – which should not be trusted with proprietary or confidential information because it broadcasts it everywhere, making hacking easy.
Favorable hacking conditions are not safe for economic development, such as confidential communications with a professional, as your health care provider, probate and estate lawyer, financial transactions, online banking, emails, personal documents, and pictures to name a few. Not to mention the severe breach of personal Equifax credit information harming possibly 143 million of people.
Safe, secure, and reliable fiber optic broadband is necessary for economic development as the fiber optic broadband signals are contained within a fiber optic cable – making hacking a difficult physical process.
As an California Citizen and constituent, I respectfully request that our State and local officials do everything in their power and control to ensure this safety for the businesses and Citizens’ of the State of California. True economic development cannot occur when vital economic information is not protected.
I respectfully request that answers to the below Huffington Post conclusions be sought by all government public officers that hold a position of authority or service involving responsibility to the public.
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is now doling out money to these same Telecommunication Corporations to offer wireless broadband calling the plan “Connect America Fund (CAF)”, currently at Phase II; offered by AT&T in Amador County.
Summary of Facts
The fiberoptic deployment that has been paid for by landline customers was never completely installed.
“Connect America Fund (CAF)” a plan to provide wireless broadband, is again funded by you and me with our tax dollars.
The proposed 5G actions taken by the Telecommunication Corporations will be at another charge to the customers, while eroding local control.
Please forward this information for an investigation by the appropriate authority for enforcement and action.
Governor Jerry Brown please VETO California SB 649.
Thank you for your attention in this extremely time sensitive matter.
P.S. Here are the Huffington Post Conclusions:
The Huffington Post has some conclusions that they request that the State Assembly should be factually answering.
- How much money did customers pay AT&T for the upgrades of the wired networks to fiber optics – that never happened?
- How much money did customers pay so that AT&T could cross-subsidize the wired utility budgets to build the cell sites for the wireless company?
- If there is competition today, how did basic local service have continuous increases of 138% in basic rates from 2008 to 2016?
- Why has the California State Assembly not investigated the cross-subsidies, the failure to deliver fiber optic broadband and charge local phone customers major rate increases of the wired state utility copper-based wires?
- Why has State not stepped in to clean up this mess?
- Is Local Service profitable when the expenses that are being incurred to offer the service are examined?
- Have customers been overcharged fees built into rates for ‘incentives’ to build out network upgrades?
- Were there any refunds, penalties, lowering of rates, etc., when the networks were not upgraded?
- How much of the 5G deployments will be indirectly charged to the wireline networks and local phone customers?
By Alison Main
“And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence.”
Simon & Garfunkel, The Sound of Silence (1964)
It was a hot summer night in 2007. Walking down the sultry streets of downtown Manhattan with my two best girlfriends, en route to dinner and drinks, one of my friends whipped out her iPhone. The very first iPhone. The iPhone that kept her squatting overnight, outside the 5th Avenue Apple Store, along with thousands of other burgeoning futurists. The iPhone that represented both trophy and promise of our digitally interconnected destinies. And it was all hers.
As she drew this obsessively acquired beacon out of her handbag, we “ooooh’d” and “aaaah’d.” We asked for tutorials. We concealed our envy. We requested play time, which she graciously granted. My fingertips danced over the magical glowing screen, delicately activating cartoon-like buttons that drew me out of my physical space and into cyber space. After bouncing from email app to text to web, I reluctantly handed the iPhone back to her. As she basked in her coveted possession, my second friend abruptly halted, looked straight at me, and in a severe tone, directed, “You. Alison. Never get that phone.”
“But why?” I petulantly inquired.
“Because you will do nothing else for the rest of your life, except hit: Check mail. Check mail. Check mail.”
Did I heed her warning? Of course not. Who listens to sage advice when omnipotent ad agencies so clearly teach us how to be “smart?”
Two years later, bored with my antiquated flip phone, failing in coolness factor while I attended media conferences and launched digital campaigns, I relented and bought my own iPhone. I reasoned with myself… this was solely a professional purchase. I needed to be accessible to my demanding clients. I needed to understand mobile marketing strategy. I needed to check the weather every five seconds (um, wait).
My prophetic friend wasn’t wrong. And not just about me. But as it turns out, she was right about everyone. What she glimpsed within me was the same latent existential anxiety we all carry within ourselves. As we wander through spaces and places, both bustling and quiet…we are all fundamentally afraid to be alone and unloved. And we’ll grasp at anything to pretend we are not.
Now, instead of a moon-shaped night light, we have a Netflix-streaming tablet. Instead of a pink cotton security blanket, we have a mobile device nestled under our pillows. And that’s just the beginning. There’s a reason you can’t stop checking your phone for messages, or scrolling through your Facebook timeline, or posting your pictorial life on Instagram. And it’s more than mere addiction. It’s one emotionally stimulating hit after the next, which breaks down to the following illusion: Someone texted me. Someone “Liked” me. I am loved. I am not alone.
But, there’s no human love nor authentic connection in a digital ping.
Companies selling Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) products and services utilize some pretty slick psychological marketing strategies, designed to strike at our core vulnerabilities. If you’re “without” in this world, you can be “with” in their make-believe world. Strap on a VR headset, and suddenly, you’re not a socially awkward companionless kid who is teased and mocked in school. Rather, you’re transformed into a medieval knight with a powerful sword, slashing every enemy in your path, about to rescue your beautiful princess. Who would consciously choose to emerge from virtual reality and into reality when those worlds are so starkly different? In the material world, you’re a pariah. In the fake world, you’re king. The problem is, the adoring courtesans aren’t real. And you can’t put a tangible glass slipper on an avatar.
AI promises to give us solutions to problems Silicon Valley cogs have cunningly created. You’re desirous and lonely? Order a sex bot. You’re elderly and childless? Hire a robot caretaker. You’re overworked with a toddler? Employ an automated nanny. But generations before us figured out how to hook up, take care of their parents, and raise their kids, without a team of robots at the helm. What makes us so exponentially overburdened that we cannot do the same?
People have been addicted to tobacco, drugs, alcohol, sugar, sex, and junk food for decades. But until digital tech and virtual reality, there’s been no other invention in the history of humankind that has so strategically manipulated our base human fear of being alone. From mobile to social to IoT, these technologies and networks trick our brains into thinking we’re connected to each other. When, in actuality, we’re not.
We’re convinced that texting and emojis are drawing us closer, but we’re forgetting the energetic resonance of our friends’ voices and the comfort of our parents’ smiles. We think virtual gaming is fostering new communities, but our ghost-selves are wandering like holograms through pixelated forests, while our physical bodies are starved for grounding on the earth around a lively campfire. We think Jetsons-like automatons will offer us domestic peace and security, but we’re neglecting the healing power of human touch, and the soulful nourishment of a meal prepared and shared together as a communal unit. And this disconnect is dangerous. Not just physiologically and environmentally. But, culturally, psychologically, and behaviorally. Because, when we take our human hearts and merge them with machines, where does our love go?
I once took myself to a remote cottage in upstate New York for a week. Perhaps the word “cottage” is a bit too generous, as the structure was a tiny converted workman’s shed, with dirt and gravel for flooring, clans of spiders and stink bugs as roommates, and chickens for neighbors. There was no Internet, no computer, no TV, no landline, no people, but strangely, I did have cell reception. And as such, I relegated my mobile use to “emergencies only” (i.e. rabid racoon attack, black bear at my doorstep, rattlesnake in my bed). This required me to keep my phone turned off, hidden from plain sight, lest I trip over a goat while narrating my painful solitude to a friend on iMessage.
On the first night, after sunset, I peered outside the window into … nothingness. No glow from a neighbor’s porch light, no twinkle from distant street lamps, no flash from passing car headlights. Just pitch-black nothingness outside. And me, alone, inside.
It was terrifying. I tried to sit with the discomfort, with the fear, and the anxiety. I tried to read a book, but I couldn’t concentrate. I tried to write with pen on paper, but my eloquent words were blocked by my racing thoughts. I began to cry, then weep, then despair. So I turned on my cell phone, and I called a friend for support. She imparted great wisdom during that conversation, but one sentence has remained with me for years since. As I cried inconsolably, she said, “Alison, this is where you meet yourself.”
And she was right.
As Shakespeare wrote, “This above all, to thine own self be true.” Which means, do not engage in self-deception. But isn’t that what we’re all doing by living vicariously through our digital identities and cyborg fantasies? For how busy and productive we are, our world is becoming far too silent, save for the buzz of network servers, and the hum of mechanized devices. Between headsets, earbuds, microchips, and VR visors, we are isolating inward, instead of expanding outward. But, I’d rather have a good friend tease me for drinking too much coffee, than have a smart-bot remember which espresso roast I order. I’d rather feel heartbroken from losing a loved one, than never feel love to begin with. And I’d rather appreciate the value of presence than distract myself from the reality of absence.
I’m not advocating that we all remove ourselves from society and recreate Thoreau’s Walden (although it’s ultimately worth it, if you try). But as we gaze down into an artificial blue light, instead of up into our companion’s eyes, we not only empty our lives of emotive connection, but we empty the love from ourselves. It’s up to each of us to reclaim our beating hearts before we are drowned out by digital silence.
Telecom begs (buys?) government officials – say they need more towers to “meet public demand.”
Laws are enacted to speed the build-out of towers and antennas.
Our rights are diminished, we have less of a say.
Towers come up and life moves on.
And the cycle begins once again ad fin-i-tum.
Consumption spirals upward, while the well-being of humans, wildlife, and our precious Earth spirals downward. Profits go up, while quality of life goes down. And many of us are left longing for a taste of the way our soul knows and wants things to be.
The current and aggressive push by the Telecom industry for wireless “small” cells is much like an ambitious start-up company wanting to build a huge warehouse in the hope they will some day “grow into it”. 5g “small” cells are being put in place to “house” the hoped for massive explosion in wireless data that will be generated from the Internet of Things (IoT). Once the infrastructure is established, the sky is the limit for what new gadgets and applications the private sector can dream up to fill the airwaves, collect our data, and dangle before a susceptible and largely, tech-addicted and unaware public.
From predictions of Artificial Intelligence surpassing and destroying humans, to health and environmental impacts worsening due to the huge increase in wireless radiation; from cyber attacks on the grid now inevitable, to the exponential increase in electronic waste as every discarded “thing” makes its way to the ranks of e-waste — The future does not look promising.
Can we forge a different path forward and write a different story? I would like to believe we can. But we will need to approach this from four angles simultaneously:
1. Educate the public about the true costs of 5g and the Internet of Things
The true costs of 5g, and its partner in crime, the IoT, include
- Health, from the soup of harmful wireless radiation we will be immersed in 24/7, due to “small” cells, and all the Internet connected “things”, devices, appliances, sensors, machines, robots, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence…and let’s not forget microchipped humans and animals.
- Environment, with the increasing loss of birds, bees, butterflies, and other forms of wildlife
- Cyber Security, with estimates ranging from $6-11 trillion for the cost of trying to secure the ever changing, and impossible-to-secure IoT
- Privacy, from every Internet connected “thing,” device, appliance, sensor, machine, robot, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and microchipped humans and animals, collecting boatloads of our personal data to be shared with marketers, government, and law enforcement
- Energy consumption, where the footprint from energy needed to produce and run all these wireless IoT products and platforms, will likely exceed the hoped for, and hyped about, energy saving technologies the IoT promises
- E-waste, much of which is sent to the far East or Africa where it pollutes the air, water, and ground of remote villages, and where workers earn a dismal day’s pay by dismantling our toxic e-waste largely with the use of crude tools or by hand
- Conflict minerals, which are used in nearly all our technology, and in the last 20 years, have contributed to the death of 5-6 million men, women and children from the Democratic Republic of Congo
- Effects on our brains and humanity, with suicide rates, depression, anxiety, autism, and ADHD now reaching epidemic proportions due to both the radiation exposure and excessive screen-time use.
- Ethics – Could something be awry that we are now considering a new human rights law to “remain natural, i.e. ‘merely’ biological and organic”?
- Job loss, with predictions as high as 50% job loss due to the IoT
- Decline in property value – would YOU want to buy a house with a cell tower beaming radiation through the bedroom window?
2. Cultivate the sweet point of satiation
There is a three-word phrase from the Hebrew Grace after meals that religious Jews recite after eating a full meal: “V’achalta, v’savata, ou v’rachta,” which roughly translates as “And you shall eat, and you shall be satiated, and you shall bless.” We must reawaken and cultivate in ourselves the notion of sweet satiation – the place of just enough – not one ounce too much, nor one iota too little…but perfectly enough. Then as we go about our days “consuming” food, experiences, relationships, and all that life has to offer, we may feel less of an urge to take more than we need.
3. Redefine “progress”
As we settle into the sweet point of satiation, our notion of progress can then gently find its way from more, faster, bigger and new, to kinder, more abiding, deeper, and more fulfilling.
4. Know there are safer and more wholesome alternatives
We can envision a better tomorrow than what industry is offering us today. Fiber is faster, safer, consumes about 25 times less energy, and is far more cyber secure than wireless. If we shift to using Fiber for the vast majority of our Internet and Telecommunications needs – thus relegating cellphones to short, on-the-go communications, and emergency response where needed – we will be removing or lessening the impacts of almost all the downsides of 5g and the IoT. By so doing, we not only protect ourselves, our families, and our environment, but we will get the added benefit of becoming reacquainted with ourselves, others, and the present moment.
If we stay the course and demand safe technology, industry and government will have no choice but to deliver. And we will once again reclaim our treasured and sacred inheritance of true connection and Presence.
Blog post by Kate Kheel
September 21st, 2017
For more information about 5g and the Internet of Things, please visit, http://whatis5g.info
Please also, check out the Facebook page, What is 5g and the Internet of Things, https://www.facebook.com/whatis5g/
and the Facebook group, Responding to 5g and the Internet of Things, https://www.facebook.com/groups/637378223136039/
To sign up for bi weekly news updates about 5g and the IoT, go to, http://whatis5g.info/newsletter-archive/
Update: SB 649 passed out of the House and was sent back to the Senate for a final vote on the amended version. Since SB 649 also passed out of the Senate, it will now go to Governor Brown for signing. Letters, emails and calls should pour into Governor Jerry Brown’s Office within the next few days.
We are having a Post Card Campaign at the Ecology Center Booth at the Berkeley Farmer’s Market this Saturday. \Don’t have time to send a postcard? We can send one for you, please email us back – Saraharminoff@aol.com. There’s a coordinated social media campaign, asking folks to take pics of their postcards and post using #STOP SB 649 to further amplify the avalanche.
Please write a Letter to the Editor! Recent articles include:
Sample Post Cards to Governor Jerry Brown:
1) Stop SB 649! SB 649 is a project from ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization for corporate advantage over what is good for the public.
2)The CA state Dept of Finance does not approve of SB 649, nor do 300 local cities in California as it overturns local governance in favor of corporate control.
3) SB 649 impacts climate change and energy consumption – – Wireless technology consumes more energy than wired — fiber optics, cable, etc. See http://whatis5g.info/energy-consumption/
4) SB 649 ruins aesthetics in California. Teamsters are opposed and might pull the film industry out of state. Please retweet! “We view this bill as a full assault on local democracy!” Barry Broad, Teamsters Public Affairs Council #NoOnSB649https://twitter.com/CaCities/status/908742091668307968
5) SB 649 protects industry not health. Harmful effects of RF-EMF fields are already proven. A large number of peer-reviewed scientific reports show harm to human health including increased cancer and deaths around cell towers — subsequently when cell towers are removed, studies show that the death rate returns to normal levels. The US National Toxicology Program (NTP) shows an increase in incidents of brain and heart cancer in animals exposed to EMF.
6) Firefighters got an exemption from cell towers on their building, after facing neurological symptoms and other health problems — what about our most vulnerable populations such as children? http://fearlessparent.org/cell-tower-hypocrisy-rescuing-firefighters-not-kids/
7) More than 180 scientists and doctors from 35 countries, recommend a moratorium on the roll-out of the fifth generation, 5G, for telecommunication until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry.
8) SB 649 creates unsafe working conditions for utility workers. SB 649 antennas will be placed on utility poles, and utility workers will be exposed all day up close.
After asking Gov. Brown to veto SB 649, what else can you do? Post a link to this website on your Facebook page, your Twitter feed or your Instagram account. http://www.noon649.org/ Together we can protect the health and safety of all Californians! Thank you taking a moment to do this, and for taking a stand on this important issue!
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING AND SUBMITTING COMPLAINT
(Links to Complaint forms below)
To stop SB649 from becoming a law, we need to make a formal complaint to the CA Attorney General whose job it is to inform the Governor regarding the legality of legislation, uphold the law, and protect our rights. This complaint demands that the Governor VETO SB649 based on several legal grounds.
Below are clear instructions. Please print the form; fill it out; and either fax it, or online-fax it* (instructions below) as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the Governor does not provide an email only a fax number.
If you have a question, please contact Brenda at 310-458-8886 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We need a mass of complaints to be submitted to the Governor and Attorney General (see more information about the complaint below).
IMPORTANT – We expect the Governor to sign SB649 soon. Thus we need to submit these complaints immediately. PLEASE try to fax these complaints to the Governor and AG as soon as possible – ideally by Monday, September 18th.
PLEASE contact any person you know in CA to do the same. This is IMPORTANT. Let’s make this happen!!
(NOTE – YOU CAN TYPE DIRECTLY ONTO THE DOCUMENT, SAVE, AND/OR PRINT IT.)
Choose the complaint that most closely applies to you.
- Person Sick with Electro-Sensitivity – Complaint to Governor and Attorney General
- Person Sick with Cancer – Complaint to Governor and Attorney General
- Person Not Yet Sick from Wireless – Complaint to Governor and Attorney General
Complete your personal information in Section 1.
Complete your sickness information (if applicable) in Section 2.
Print the form and sign it.
Fax the Complaint to the Governor and the AG.
Fax completed form to the Governor: (916) 558 3160
Fax completed form to the Attorney General: (916) 445 6749
The Governor does not have an email address. He does not want to make it easy for you to give him feedback. Please make the effort to fax him your complaint.
* Fax Online for Free using: https://faxzero.com/fax_governor/California
Or find a fax in hotels, office depot, Staple, Fed-Ex Office, UPS store, Mail-Box Etc (if you do not have one).
Please keep a copy of your complaint for your records.
Please save and email us a copy of your Complaint (no need for signature) so we can follow-up with the Governor and the Attorney General – (Email Brenda: email@example.com) If the form is hand-written, and it is difficult for you to scan, please email your contact info and to let us know that you submitted the Complaint and your contact information.
Have a Questions?
Contact Brenda at 310-458-8886 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a question.
Further explanation and background for the Complaint:
SB649 is ILLEGAL. It violates the Constitutional Rights of every resident of California, essentially legalizes Criminal Assault and violates the Disability rights of those who already have become sick from wireless radiation. It is also illegal and discriminatory because of the exemption to fire stations/fighters. We should demand that our rights be protected.
It is the Role of the Governor and especially that of the State Attorney General to protect the rights, health and safety of the residents of their state and uphold the law. We need to demand that they comply with their legal responsibilities and the law.
This complaint explains why SB649 is illegal and how it would harm people and why it should not become law. Please fill out this form to demand that the CA Governor VETO SB649 and the Attorney General protect our rights and uphold the law, and if it becomes law challenge SB649.