BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE – What Could Be Wrong with That?

BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE – What Could Be Wrong with That?

Access to the internet is now considered a public necessity, similar to water and electricity. People lacking affordable and reliable internet access are at a disadvantage in navigating today’s world, especially in these times of social isolation. 

The telecom industry is intent on “bridging the digital divide” to end this inequity.  Sounds good at first blush, but unfortunately, the lowest cost internet option – one that is neither safe, environmentally friendly, nor respectful of privacy – is the one being offered. Will this fix the problem or are we rather substituting one disadvantage for another?

Not All Technology Is Created Equal

Internet can be accessed through wired connections such as fiber optics or coaxial cable, or wirelessly via cell towers, 4G/5G antennas and wireless “hot spots” next to homes, and/or via satellites. Wired connections are safer, faster, more cyber secure, energy efficient and reliable than wireless connections. Wireless, however, has one advantage over wired – mobility. You can access the internet wirelessly when out and about, something that cannot be done with a wired connection.

In its haste to “bridge the digital divide” the telecom industry is peddling 4G/5G antennas and wireless hot spots to under-served communities. Most people are unaware there are better ways to connect to the internet from one’s home or business and are oblivious to the harms and risks of these close proximity wireless antennas and hot spots. Thrilled to get online at all, these communities willingly accept telecoms offerings.

The industry is most pleased as their 4G soon to be 5G-wonder child, and its attendant and lucrative promises of data-harvesting, artificial intelligence, surveillance capitalism, “software as a service” all gain another captured market. And an added perk is that industry appears to be fixing a gross injustice. Seemingly, a win/win for all.

So, What Could Be the Problem?

Like many of us, these communities are unaware of the thousands of studies showing both long and short-term health effects from existing 2G, 3G, and 4G technologies, and the dozens of studies showing harm specifically from the millimeter wave frequencies to be used in 5G and the modulations carried along these frequencies. Not to mention the, as yet unstudied other virtuoso technological feats that will likely find their way into the 5G build out.

Similar to the playbook used by tobacco, asbestos, Teflon, and other toxins, the telecom industry has neglected to disclose risks from 5G. Instead, it unabashedly asserts 5G’s safety while providing not a single study to substantiate this claim that runs counter to the consensus of science on wireless health effects. 

Internet access may indeed be a public necessity but so is our health. The challenge before us is not simply how to bridge the digital divide, but how to bridge it while preserving our health and that of all other living beings — not to mention our personal privacy, sovereignty and dignity.

Need for Digital Literacy is a Public Necessity

It follows that if internet is a public necessity, an understanding of the pros and cons of different ways of connecting to the internet, aka digital literacy, would also be essential. For without this understanding, people cannot defend their rights, and risk becoming victims of an inequitable system. Without digital literacy, we are seemingly locked into a binary choice: “Do we want 5G or no internet access?” when in truth, there is another option – safe wired internet.

Industry has a moral obligation to not only disclose the risks and benefits of the technologies the public is being offered and exposed to, but to advise people on the safest technology option for any given situation.

Governments have a duty to educate the public, starting with school aged children, on how to connect to the internet in the safest way possible. We all deserve the right to fully informed consumer choices to best protect ourselves, our families, communities, and our collective future on this planet.

Social Injustice in Internet Access

Environmental pollutants have a long and well-documented history of impacting communities of lesser means. In the case of 5G, there is no evidence to date that lower income communities are preferentially being targeted for 5G and that safer wired connections are being withheld.

However, defending against 5G takes lots of money, time, effort and resources, all of which communities of means have access to if they get organized in time and choose to push back against industry’s agenda.

Communities of lesser means cannot afford the luxury of fighting the system. Either they must accept a cell tower antenna outside their bedroom window or no internet connectivity at all — a grim choice indeed.

By Kate Kheel

Reflections and Recommendations on COVID-19, 5G, & Wireless Radiation

Reflections and Recommendations on COVID-19, 5G, & Wireless Radiation

By Sarah Aminoff, Susan Foster, Kate Kheel
April 14th, 2020

(NB: For the purposes of this statement, 5G includes all iterations of the densification of wireless infrastructure and data transmissions – 4G+, 5GE, and 5G, with and without the addition of millimeter wave frequencies.)

COVID-19 and 5G

As of this date, there is no definitive scientific evidence that COVID-19 is caused by 4G, 5G or other sources of electromagnetic radiation. There is, however, ample evidence that radio-frequency/microwave radiation – aka wireless radiation – from cell towers, cellphones, WiFi, cordless phones, smart appliances, smart homes, smart cities etc. can adversely impact the immune system and overall health. Thus, exposure to electromagnetic radiation is a significant factor to consider when addressing the rapid spread of COVID-19, as well as decisions around the buildout of wireless infrastructure vs. safer wired connections.

History of Electromagnetic Radiation and Health

Radiation exposure has been a concern for health researchers and policy makers beginning with radar during WWII. Yet for the most part, the public remains unaware of the growing body of independent science showing adverse health impacts from wireless radiation.

Since the 1980s, the telecommunications industry has purchased partial or majority ownership privileges in major media outlets. Some outlets previously known for their objectivity have been conspicuously silent about harms from wireless radiation, even as government and independent researchers are finding links between wireless radiation and cancer, neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, birth defects, learning disabilities, headaches, sleep disturbances, and autoimmune disorders. As a result, the public has, for the most part, accepted our wireless world as a convenient and often intriguing way of life, and/or the inevitable way of the future – “Can’t stop progress”.  And governments’ collective silence has offered a presumption of safety.

For decades, telecom companies have lobbied their governments to pass laws favorable to industry, including some areas where citizens are even denied the right to object to cell tower placement on the basis of health. We can’t help but ask, “Why would industry influence governments to exempt health issues for wireless facilities if radiofrequency radiation (RFR) is safe?”  And we can’t help but notice that 5G infrastructure – a quantum technological leap – is being rolled out around the world at lightning speed before undertaking a single safety study

Has Electromagnetic Radiation Contributed to the Spread of COVID-19?

Wuhan was one of the first five cities in China to fully implement 4G+/5G and was also a viral hotspot. Were those who lived in Wuhan more vulnerable to COVID-19 due to 5G? What about the Lombardy Region of Italy, South Korea, Spain, and New York? Shelter-in-place measures, urban density, air pollution, public transit, and other factors likely impact the spread or containment of COVID-19.  But does 5G contribute above and beyond these factors? Is 5G the proverbial ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ when added to the many other environmental toxins we are inundated with due to policies that put profit before health and well-being?

There is much research linking wireless radiation with oxidative stress and adverse impacts on immune function (See, 1, 2, 3).  Professor Klaus Buchner, physicist in Germany and Member of European Parliament states, “There is clear scientific evidence that the spreading of viruses is accelerated by electromagnetic radiation.” Key points:

Ronald N. Kostoff, Research Affiliate, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, explains in his recent monograph that radio-frequency radiation typically acts in combination, one increasing the impacts of the other rendering the immune system “…unable to counteract exposure to viruses as nature intended.”

Kostoff goes on to say in the same monograph: “This gets to the link between wireless radiation exposure and the latest coronavirus pandemic. Wireless radiation adversely affects the immune system…, and a weakened immune system increases the chances that exposure to the coronavirus (or any virus) will translate into symptoms/disease.”

In addition, there are other serious health effects from radio-frequency microwave radiation. A 10-year $30 million dollar study from the National Toxicology Program (NTP) funded by the U.S. government, and research from the Ramazzini Institute showed clear evidence of cancer and adverse impacts to the brain and heart from previous generations of wireless.

The Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) which provides scientific advice to the European Commission regarding public health, issued a statement identifying 5G impact as “high,” and that “the lack of clear evidence…of exposure guidelines to 5G technology leaves open the possibility of unintended biological consequences.”

At a time when the entire world is struggling with a pandemic, is it wise to roll out 5G?  After all, an entirely new generation of wireless technology with many novel and untested features such as higher frequencies, cellphone antennas next to homes, schools, businesses, public buildings and places of worship, phased array antennas, and Massive Input Massive Output (MIMO), is a dramatic technological leap without a single safety test.

Recommendations to Governments

We urge governments to enact a moratorium on 5G and strongly push back against the race to build out further wireless infrastructure both on land and in space. We oppose the implementation of disaster capitalism, (aka disaster profiteering) as it is now playing out with stealth and overt deployment of wireless infrastructure during this time of crisis. Governments owe it to the public to provide evidence of safety by scientists independent of industry before blanketing the Earth and sky with yet another layer of electromagnetic radiation. Telemedicine, online education, or other services would be far better addressed through safer, wired connections.

Based on the overwhelming body of science from international military/government reports as well as from independent science showing harm from electromagnetic radiation, we urge governments to halt the build-out and activation of all 5G infrastructure, both on Earth and in space, and to respond to a need for more broadband access with safer, faster, more reliable and resilient wired connections.

Recommendations Regarding Exposure to Wireless Radiation

With millions of children now home from school streaming hours of lessons daily and only able to connect with friends virtually, we recommend reducing exposure to all sources of wireless radiation as much as possible. This would include favoring hard-wired internet connections over WiFi, keeping devices on airplane mode when not in use, and using hardwired phone connections whenever possible, rather than relying solely on cell phones. For more information on how to use technology safely, please see Environmental Health Trust 10 Steps To Safer Technology At Home: How To Reduce Exposure To Wireless Radiation,  Children’s Health Defense How to Make Remote Learning Safe for Your Children During COVID-19 Quarantine, and share this flyer, courtesy of Americans for Responsible Technology.

Children and Screen-time

Home from school, the default mode could become screen-time only. Families and caretakers might consider taking advantage of these value-fillable days to rekindle children’s ability to play, imagine, day-dream, romp in the dirt, explore nature, and above all, spend quality time with family. Likely, screen-time cravings will fall away quite naturally when children are gifted the nurturing they truly want and need.

May this global wake-up call help move us toward a future where respect for life takes precedence over corporate self-gain, and where technology has undergone scrutiny to ensure the health and well-being of all life on the planet.

Additional References and Resources

1) Miller, A. B., Sears, M., Morgan L. Davis, D., Hardell, L. et al. (2019). Risks to health and well-being from radio-frequency radiation emitted by cell phones and other wireless devices. Frontiers in public health, 7, 223.
2) Szmigielski, S. (2013). Reaction of the immune system to low-level RF/MW exposures. Science of the total environment, 454, 393-400.
3) Johansson, O. (2009). Disturbance of the immune system by electromagnetic fields—A potentially underlying cause for cellular damage and tissue repair reduction which could lead to disease and impairment. Pathophysiology, 16(2-3), 157-177.
4) Grigoryev, Y. (2012). Evidence for effects on the immune system supplement. Immune system and EMF RF. BioInitiative Working Group, Section 8. Bioinitiative Report WHO 2012, 1-24.
5) Ookla 5G Map  (2020). Retrieved from https://www.speedtest.net/ookla-5g-map
6) Maps of 4G+/5G coverage around the world as of March 30, 2020, (NB: 5G varies from country to country and carrier to carrier.)
Italy (2020): https://www.nperf.com/en/map/ES/-/168912.Vodafone-Movil/signal/.
New York City, USA (Sprint coverage):
https://www.nperf.com/en/map/US/5128581.New-York-City/5570.Sprint/signal/
Wuhan, China: *Although China Telecom was in Wuhan, there is currently no data.https://www.nperf.com/en/map/CN/1791247.Wuhan/4747.China-Telecom/signal/
Vodafone Movil 3G / 4G / 5G coverage map, Spain
Madrid, Spain: https://www.nperf.com/en/map/ES/3117735.Madrid/168912.Vodafone-Movil/signal/.
Seoul, South Korea: https://www.nperf.com/en/map/KR/1835848.Seoul/11921.U/signal/
7) Kostoff, R. N. (2020). The Largest Unethical Medical Experiment in Human History.
8) Kostoff, R. N. (2019). Adverse Effects of Wireless Radiation.
9) Russell, C. L. (2018). 5 G wireless telecommunications expansion: Public health and environmental implications. Environmental research, 165, 484-495.
10) Blank, M., Havas, M., Kelley, E., Lai, H., & Moskowitz, J. (2015). International appeal: scientists call for protection from non-ionizing electromagnetic field exposure. Eur. J. Oncol, 20(3/4), 180-182.
11)  Havas, M., (2020, March 22) “Corona Virus and 5G Is there a Connection?” Magdahavas
12) International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC/WHO (2011, May 31), IARC classifies radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans [Press release].   Retrieved from https://goo.gl/BrkpG8
13) Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks, SCHEER. (2018, December 20) SCHEER Statement on Emerging Issues (2018), Luxembourg: European Commission; p 14
14)  Dunckley, V. L. (2015). Reset Your Child’s Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time. New world library.

 

 

 

 

How SafeG can help stop harmful 5G wireless

How SafeG can help stop harmful 5G wireless

by Kate Kheel
July 10th, 2019

Heroic resistance is spreading across the world to stop the deployment of dangerous 5G wireless technology and calling instead for safe, wired connections to all homes and businesses. 5G threatens to shower people in its path with intense, harmful wireless radiation 24 hours a day, seven days a week with no way to turn it off.

My colleagues and I at SafeG Alliance believe that the concept we call SafeG™, a safe alternative to harmful 5G wireless, could help that resistance succeed. We believe people united by a common vision referred to by a common name possess a powerful tool. SafeG can be the name for a vision that opposes harmful 5G wireless and seeks a safe alternative. We believe that by announcing what we are FOR in addition to what we are against, we can create a new conversation that will unite people opposing 5G worldwide and give us a common way to refer to a sane and safe alternative.

So, what exactly is SafeG?

SafeG is not a single product or service, but a framework for an internet and telecommunications system that respects our health, our privacy, our security and our right to choose what is best for ourselves and our communities. Here’s how we define SafeG:

SafeG means safe, fast, reliable, secure internet and telecommunications services brought into our homes and businesses by wired technology. It means technology that safeguards our health, privacy and security and that evolves over time with the goal of reducing exposure to harmful wireless radiation.

We at SafeG Alliance respect the right of homeowners and businesses to decide for themselves whether to have wired or wireless networks on their premises without forcing that choice on others as is the case with 5G antennas outside our homes. While we strongly advise using wired networks in homes and businesses, for those who, after being informed of the harms of wireless, still choose wireless networks, we recommend the use of router cages or “socks” that reduce the wireless signal to what is needed to serve the premises only, thereby protecting neighbors from the radiation.

We believe SafeG has the possibility of changing the discussions we are having with our elected representatives, zoning and planning boards, public utility commissions, federal agencies, school officials, schoolteachers, neighbors, friends, family and co-workers.

The wireless industry wants to deploy 5G wireless everywhere (except, thankfully, not in rural areas as it’s not profitable enough for the industry). That would make 5G one of the most pervasive public health threats ever ─ possibly more dangerous than cigarettes, leaded gasoline and asbestos combined.

If we as a world community allow the 5G Trojan Horse to enter our cities, we will be condemning ourselves to a future of ever escalating exposure to harmful wireless radiation that will accompany 5G and beyond. Not to mention the harms of raising our children in a world of screens, machines, and robots, loss of privacy, devastating cyber security risks, and adverse effects on wildlife all of which will be unleashed with the move to 5G. And, the wired alternatives that could have served us well and safely would wither into unavailability. 

As awareness grows about this threat, opponents of 5G are facing criticism that they are standing in the way of inevitable and beneficial progress. SafeG counters this criticism because it recognizes that consumers will drive innovation through demand for safe, wired technologies – innovation that will make our internet and telecommunications services safer, more reliable, secure, faster, and far more energy-efficient. That demand will incentivize manufacturers and service providers to create ever more innovative wired services and devices for homes, shops, businesses, and even public spaces. And what’s more, SafeG encourages moderation, as wired technology cannot follow us around 24/7 as do wireless mobile devices which quite literally have taken over our lives. 

SafeG means internet and telecommunications technology that respects our health, privacy and security while delivering benefits from evolving technology. If we ask for this outcome by name – that is, by the name SafeG – we may be more likely to fashion a world where our children, future generations, and all life can thrive…. A better world for us All.

Kate Kheel is program director for SafeG Alliance. To find out how you can help spread the SafeG idea, visit the website at https://safeg.net.

5G and its small cell towers threaten public health.  Implications for HB654/SB937 and HB1020/SP713 before the Maryland General Assembly

5G and its small cell towers threaten public health.  Implications for HB654/SB937 and HB1020/SP713 before the Maryland General Assembly

By Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.

This message describes, as briefly as I can, the answers to the questions below.  Kindly read what interests you.  I present these comments as a retired U.S. Government career scientist (Ph.D. in Applied Physics, Harvard University). 

  • Why is control of 5G secondary to stopping its deployment?
  • Why are both HB654/SB937 and HB1020/SP713 fatally flawed?
  • What makes Maryland a leader in MANDATING exposure to harmful radiofrequency radiation?
  • What is Maryland’s implicit policy on exposure to radiofrequency radiation?
  • Why is human health so vulnerable to harm from radiofrequency radiation?
  • What is the evidence of the harm caused by radiofrequency radiation?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of 5G?
  • What should our telecommunications goals be?
  • Who am I?
Why is control of 5G secondary to stopping its deployment?

Control by local government of the deployment of 5G’s small cell towers is, indeed, an important goal, because local governments are closer to the people and can better reflect their wishes.  That makes HB1020/SP713 the better approach, as intended by its authors, compared to HB654/SB937 which forfeits local control entirely.

But there is an even more important goal:  STOPPING the deployment of 5G altogether.  The reason, as shown throughout this message, is that there is NO SAFE WAY to implement 5G in our communities; rather, there are only “bad ways” and “worse ways”.  So local control means that local governments can have a say in the choice among the “bad ways”.

Why are both HB654/SB937 and HB1020/SP713 fatally flawed?

Both bills reaffirm the worst aspect of Federal policy:  a prohibition against stopping all deployment.  For example, HB1020/SP713 makes statements like these: 

S-703 (C) (1):  “THE APPLICABLE LOCAL LAW AND REGULATION PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION:
      (1) MAY NOT GENERALLY PROHIBIT THE INSTALLATION OF ALL WIRELESS FACILITIES OR POLES IN THE PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY OR ON PRIVATE PROPERTY; AND”

S-704 (C):  “THE DESIGN AND AESTHETIC REQUIREMENTS OR STANDARDS OF AN AUTHORITY MAY NOT HAVE THE EFFECT OF PROHIBITING ANY WIRELESS PROVIDER’S WIRELESS SERVICE.”

Statements like these write into Maryland law the principal provision of Federal policy that so many efforts are now trying to overturn.  For this reason, in my view, neither HB654/SB937 nor HB1020/SP713 should be made law.

What makes Maryland a leader in MANDATING exposure to harmful radiofrequency radiation?

Wireless Smart Meters for the measurement of electricity have already been forced on virtually every home and business in Maryland.  These meters bring the source of radiation up close and personal to the residents, even to the walls against which children sleep.  They transmit pulses of radiofrequency throughout the day and the night, every day of the year.  To escape the radiation from your own meter, you must pay the electric power company a monthly Opt-Out fee, forever, for a non-radiating meter.  At last report, about 44,000 Maryland homeowners have made this choice.  But there is NO way to escape the radiation from your neighbors’ wireless meters.

Wireless Smart Meters for the measurement of natural gas and water are either already implemented in parts of the State, or are contemplated (WSSC), and will worsen the problem already created by the Wireless Smart Meters for electricity.

WiFi is implemented widely in Maryland’s schools and bathes the children and teachers in radiofrequency radiation every school day for all their school years.  Parents who don’t want their children exposed to such radiation MUST forfeit a public school education for their children.  All this has occurred even though the Maryland Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council, which reports to the Governor, recommended phasing WiFi out of the schools in favor of much safer wired technology.  (Wifi Radiation in Schools in Maryland, Final Report, December 13, 2016, page 8, https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/OEHFP/EH/Shared%20Documents/CEHPAC/MD_CEHPAC_SchoolWiFi_022017_final.pdf

The addition of the radiation from 5G’s small cell towers, located up close and personal to Maryland residents, and operating 24 hours per day throughout the year, will complete this assault on the health of the public.

What is Maryland’s implicit policy on radiofrequency radiation?

The State’s implicit policy appears to be this:

“No resident of Maryland shall be permitted to escape 24-hour exposure to radiofrequency radiation, at ever higher levels, even though such radiation has already been shown to be harmful to human health.”

“All biomedical research from any source, including the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, and the international biomedical research community more broadly, that shows that exposure to radiofrequency radiation is harmful to human health, will be categorically denied.”

Why is human health so vulnerable to harm from radiofrequency radiation?

In the simplest terms, human beings are bioelectrical in nature.  That is why electrocardiograms work when they monitor a beating heart.  And that is why electroencephalograms work when they monitor the activities in the brain.  Humans evolved in levels of radiofrequency radiation far below those produced by human technology today.  We humans are simply not designed to tolerate today’s high levels of radiofrequency radiation.

When the radiofrequency radiation from cell towers, including 5G’s small cell towers, and other wireless sources, hits the body, that radiation disrupts the bioelectrical workings of the body.  This disruption occurs at levels of radiation far below those set as the FCC’s Maximum Permitted Exposure limits.  In response, the body must fight back constantly to regain control.  This battle can lead to a wide range of symptoms.  Here is just a partial list:  sleep disruption, headaches, irritability, ringing in the ears, fatigue, loss of concentration and memory, nerve pain, dizziness, eye problems, nausea, heart palpitations, depression, and cancer.

No one is immune to harm, but vulnerability varies widely with the individual.  That vulnerability does appear to be greatest for pregnant mothers, young children, teenagers, men of reproductive age, seniors, the disabled, and those with chronic health conditions.  A host of major medical conditions are now under study by the international biomedical research community to determine what role exposure to radiofrequency radiation may play in causing, or aggravating, them.  Examples include autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autoimmune diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease, among so many others.

The effects of radiofrequency radiation appear to be cumulative; so the longer that exposure continues, the greater the chance that an individual will be overtly affected.  Some individuals will develop a devastating condition called Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome, with a host of symptoms, including extreme pain from exposure to even very low levels of radiofrequency radiation.  Just to survive, such individuals must often leave their homes and jobs, where exposure levels were too high, and move to rare locations away from radiation sources.  Such individuals regularly contact scientists (including me), doctors, and other aware individuals for advice on what to do.

What is the evidence of the harm caused by radiofrequency radiation?

There are thousands of archival biomedical research papers, published in peer-reviewed journals, that have shown that radiofrequency radiation is harmful to the body in one way or another.  These have been collected and reviewed in a number of summary documents.  Here are just two examples:  (1) BioInitiative 2012, draws on about 1800 publications (https://bioinitiative.org/); (2) EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 for the Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of EMF-Related Health Problems and Illnesses, draws on 308 references (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27454111). (“EMF” stands for electromagnetic fields, a term inclusive of radiofrequency radiation.)

In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization classified radiofrequency radiation as a Group 2B Human Carcinogen (“possibly carcinogenic”), naming explicitly “wireless phone” radiation (cellular radiation), based on the increased risk for glioma.  Glioma is a malignant type of brain cancer that is usually fatal.  It most recently took the life of Senator John McCain and Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden.  (https://www.iarc.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pr208_E.pdf)

In 2018, a massive study by the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health linked cellular radiofrequency radiation (RFR) to cancer of the nerves of the heart (schwannomas), to cancer of the brain (glioma), and to multiple other health effects in test animals.  (https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/areas/cellphones/index.html)

In 2015 and continuing, 247 scientists from 42 nations signed an appeal to the United Nations, described below.  These scientists have “published peer-reviewed papers on the biological or health effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields” (which are inclusive of radiofrequency radiation).

“Address the global public health concerns related to exposure to cell phones, power lines, electrical appliances, wireless devices, wireless utility meters and wireless infrastructure in residential homes, schools, communities and businesses.”  (https://www.emfscientist.org/)

For more information on the health effects of radiofrequency radiation, please see the website of the Environmental Health Trust, especially the Science tab.  (https://ehtrust.org/)

What are the advantages and disadvantages of 5G?

5G has some true advantages.  5G is expected to employ higher radiofrequencies than those currently in use in cellular systems in the United States.  Those higher frequencies will permit more rapid rates of data transfer compared to current WIRELESS technology.  And, as a wireless technology, 5G will support mobility.

But wired technology, especially fiber-optic technology, is superior to 5G in so many other ways.  Fiber-optic technology produces NO radiofrequency radiation, so it poses NO health hazard.  Fiber-optic technology is safer, faster, more reliable, more cyber secure, and more private than any wireless technology, including 5G.  (See https://whatis5g.info for a detailed description of the limitations of 5G.)

So users of wireless technology, including 5G, will have to decide if mobility ALONE is more important for their particular application than any other factor, including their own health and the health of their families and colleagues.

When listening to the hype about 5G, consider the following:
Is the hype coming more from potential providers of 5G, who hope to profit from 5G, or from potential users, who will have to pay for 5G?

Is the RUSH to implement 5G more about staking out claims to small cell sites in right-of-ways than about providing services that customers really need?

Is the RUSH to implement 5G driven by the growing awareness of the public and its representatives that radiofrequency radiation is harmful to health, and thus the providers feel that they must act quickly before resistance builds further?

What scientific studies, from impartial sources, can the providers of 5G identify that prove that 5G has NO adverse health effects on humans?  The burden of proof is on the providers.

When questioned by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal in a hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee (February, 7, 2019), the representatives of industry could name no existing studies and none in progress.  (Story:  https://www.blumenthal.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/at-senate-commerce-hearing-blumenthal-raises-concerns-on-5g-wireless-technologys-potential-health-risks; Video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsil3VQE5K4)

What should our telecommunications goals be?

Let me suggest the following:

Promote the expansion of fiber-optic technology as widely as possible, instead of degrading our environment with more harmful radiofrequency radiation, this time from 5G.

Require that the safety of 5G be proven by impartial studies before 5G can be installed in Maryland, instead of facilitating the use of Maryland residents to be the guinea pigs to test that safety.

Join forces with other state governments, and with local governments, to fight back against Federal laws and regulations that force any potentially harmful technology on the states without adequate PRIOR proof of safety.  Any technology with the potential to harm, and even take, life should not be mandated by the U.S. Government or encouraged by the states.

It will be difficult to stop 5G, but it will be easier to stop it NOW than to get it removed later after huge numbers of Maryland residents have become ill.

Who am I?

I am a retired U.S. Government career scientist (Ph.D., Applied Physics, Harvard University).  I worked for the Executive Office of the President, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  For those organizations, respectively, I addressed Federal research and development program evaluation, energy policy research, and measurement development in support of the electronics and electrical-equipment industries and the biomedical research community.  I currently interact with other scientists, with physicians, and with aware individuals around the world on the impact of radiofrequency radiation on human health.

I have been a resident of Montgomery County since 1979.

Respectfully,

Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.

Closing The Digital Divide – Fiber vs. Wireless

Closing The Digital Divide – Fiber vs. Wireless

(Please note that although this blog clearly promotes the build out and use of fiber for the vast majority of our Internet and Telecommunications needs, the author in NO way supports the use of this fiber for the build out of wireless small cells. Hopefully, as people become more informed about the harms of wireless, innovations will increasingly make use of safe, fast, reliable, energy efficient and cyber secure fiber. Not wireless.)
 
Most everyone agrees that the Internet is now a public necessity. The Federal Communications Commission states, “Broadband has gone from being a luxury to a necessity for full participation in our economy and society.”  But Telecom won’t deliver on it – at least not to everyone.

High speed Internet, aka fiber, is costly and somewhat cumbersome to build, so the private sector has now shifted to peddling 5G. Instead of installing the promised fiber we have  paid for through rate increases and taxes, In urban areas,Telecom is laying fiber to utility poles and then spraying the data through the air on a panoply of frequencies. Why? Because it’s cheaper and easier that way. Never mind the harms to us and the planet; and no worries about closing the digital divide

People in rural America must choose between wireless hot spots or satellite, neither of which provides reliable high speed broadband.

“After years of waiting, it is now evident that ‘left to their own devices’, companies will gouge the rich, leave out the poor, cherry-pick markets and focus solely on their profits. It isn’t evil, it’s just the way things work.” Susan Crawford

Why Don’t We Have Fiber Yet?
The over-arching reason we don’t yet have fiber to all homes and businesses is that our government believes a free market should drive the development of technology. According to FCC Chair Ajit Pai “The market, not government, is best positioned to drive innovation and investment.”  So essentially, as stated by Harvard law professor, Susan Crawford, “The mega-utility of the 21st century officially has no regulator.”

Since no one is overseeing these companies and scrutinizing the books, there’s quite a bit of wiggle room – and wiggling they’ve done as Bruce Kushnick has documented. They’ve wiggled all the way from delivering fiber to essentially reneging on contracts and peddling wireless instead. This includes the current mad rush to deploy 4G/5G “small” cell antennas in front of our homes.

So if the private sector isn’t delivering on fiber, municipalities can build their own publicly owned fiber network. But no. Unfortunately, Telecom’s got these bases covered as wellAs of 2018, twenty states have laws that discourage publicly owned fiber networks. And this includes discouraging even public/private partnerships, which when well planned, can be a win/win for all parties: the city, the partnering telecom company, and the public as described here.  And when the FCC did give an exemption from state laws that prohibit municipalities from building their own fiber network, the exemption was shot down by a court ruling. As stated in Dividing Lines, “Big Telecom and their friends in state and federal legislatures are finding creative ways to keep the status quo.”


Defining Our Terms – Motte and Bailey Strategy?
What is meant by bringing “high speed Internet” ?
The powers that be identify something most people can agree on: High speed Internet should be accessible to all – which many of us understand to mean everyone should have access to fiber. But industry/government interpret this to mean we all must have 4G/5G wireless densification in front of our homes in order to serve everyone with high speed broadband. But fiber and wireless are not equivalent or interchangeable services.
Fiber is great for fixed locations such as a home or a business as it’s super fast, safe, and reliable. 
Wireless can be used when out and about for short on-the-go communications, and texting, but is poorly suited for video streaming due to the huge energy consumption of wireless, and is not clearly not reliable enough for remote surgery (“Sorry, can’t suture you just yet, there’s a bit of precipitation!”).

“Fiber is safer, faster, more reliable, and far more energy efficient and cyber secure than wireless.” Ronald M. Powell Ph.D.

Beyond the different uses for fiber and wireless, there are other core differences that make fiber far superior to wireless. Fiber has virtually unlimited bandwidth and once laid, can last decades with little to no maintenance. But more importantly, thousands of scientific studies show adverse health effects from wireless and hundreds of  studies show harm to wildlife as well. (For more on health please see https://mdsafetech.org,)

So when our government addresses the digital divide by installing Wi-Fi on school buses for children can do their homework, this is a clear example of an inadequate solution for bridging the digital divide. Wi-Fi on school buses is a far cry from providing fiber to the homes of these children. Not only does this ridiculous “fix” expose children to harmful radiation while enclosed in a metal box (think bus!) but it robs children of the few precious moments they still have for face-to-face communication with their peers. Similarly, 5G is a poor fix for rural America…or for that matter, for urban America as well.

Solution
We must bring health and the environment into the discussion of why fiber is far superior to wireless, or we may end up “closing the digital divide” by causing as much harm to those in rural America as those in cities are being subjected to now with 4G/5G. Bringing high speed broadband to rural America should not be about incentivizing the private sector through subsidies to bring 5G uniformly to all areas. It should be about delivering safe, fast, reliable fiber to everyone, everywhere.
 
“Closing the digital divide” must be done by delivering safe, fast, and reliable fiber to all, and not offering makeshift and harmful solutions such as WiFi on buses, 5G, satellite, or wireless hot spots.

We don’t just want any kind of high speed Internet for all. We want fiber which is safe for us and for the planet.