BACK DROP – WHAT WE’RE UP AGAINST WITH 5G

Captured Agency: How the Federal Communications Commission Is Dominated By The Industries It Presumably Regulates   Norm Alster | Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University

This document/book details the rather unseemly and very cozy relationship between Telecom and the FCC. 
“A detailed look at FCC actions and non actions shows that over the years the FCC has granted the wireless industry pretty much what it has wanted…the FCC has again and again echoed the lobbying points of major technology interests.” “Money — and lots of it — has played a part.”
https://ethics.harvard.edu/files/center-for-ethics/files/capturedagency_alster.pdf

Prepared Remarks of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler ‘The Future of Wireless: A Vision for U.S. Leadership in a 5G World’ National Press Club Washington, D.C. June 20, 2016
http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2016/db0620/DOC-339920A1.pdf

Remarks of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler CTIA Super Mobility Show 2016, Las Vegas September 7, 2016 http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2016/db0907/DOC-341138A1.pdf

 

FCC ACTIONS 2018 

As with other branches of our government, the Federal Communications Commission is pulling out all the stops in an effort to streamline the deployment of 4g/5g “small” cells in urban areas throughout the US. In rural areas the FCC is posturing about bridging the “digital divide”, may be shamed into doing so, but would rather not “force the hand” of industry. Following is an update on some of the more recent FCC actions.

WARNING: 30+ FCC Actions in One Year to Slice & Dice States’ Rights & Consumer Protections. Sept. 25th, 2018 | Bruce Kushnick | The Medium 
“Starting in April 2017, the FCC created two specific FCC proceedings designed to take away the public interest obligations on communications services, slice by slice. There have been over 30+ different related actions and decisions in just these two dockets to move the AT&T and Verizon agenda along and erase basic consumer protections on all wired services — in just one year”
https://medium.com/@kushnickbruce/warning-30-fcc-actions-in-one-year-to-slice-dice-states-rights-consumer-protections-6fefa5dfaa7a

Streamlining Deployment Of Next Generation Wireless Infrastructure

On Sept. 26th, the FCC unanimously approved the Streamlining Deployment of Next Generation Wireless Infrastructure Order. (Commissioner Rosenworcel “approved and dissented in part”):

• Accelerating Wireline Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment: WC Docket №17–84
• Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment; WT Docket №17–79; 

Not unexpected but devastating nonetheless.

“This is extraordinary federal overreach, and i don’t believe that the law permits Washington to run roughshod over state and local authority like this, and i worry that the litigation that follows will only slow our 5-g future.” 
FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel

Transcript for FCC Vote:
http://scientists4wiredtech.com/2018/09/fcc-vote-wt-17-79-transcript/

News Release:
https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-streamlines-deployment-next-generation-wireless-infrastructure

Video of Sept. 26th “Vote” 
https://www.fcc.gov/general/live

The FCC Order went into effect on Jan. 14th, 2019, with another 3 months given for communities to consider aesthetics.

Thankfully, there is much push back to this gross federal overreach.

On Jan. 14th, 2019, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo introduced (HR 530) Accelerating Wireless Broadband Development by Empowering Local Communities Act of 2019, legislation to overturn the Federal Communications Commission regulations. Stated simply, the Sept. 26th Order, Accelerating Wireless and Wireline Broadband, “shall have no force or effect.”

FCC’s Actions Challenged

Cities will sue FCC to stop $2 billion giveaway to wireless carriers
After FCC vote, cities try to restore local control over 5G fees and equipment.  Oct. 3rd, 2018 | Jon Brodkin | ArsTechnica
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/10/cities-will-sue-fcc-to-stop-2-billion-giveaway-to-wireless-carriers/

Statement by U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO & Executive Director Tom Cochran on FCC’s Order Subordinating Local Property Rights
“The U.S. Conference of Mayors conveys its strongest opposition to today’s final Order issued by the Federal Communications Commission.  While The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports the nation’s efforts to win the race to 5G, today’s FCC action misapplies federal law to federalize local public property as part of its efforts to bestow upon a class of private companies special rights to access local rights-of-ways and public property….” (See full statement at the following link)
https://www.usmayors.org/2018/09/26/statement-by-u-s-conference-of-mayors-ceo-executive-director-tom-cochran-on-fccs-order-subordinating-local-property-rights/

Public Knowledge Urges Court Not To Hang Up On Consumers in FCC Lawsuit  Sept. 26th, 2018 | Shiva Stella | National Network Upgrade
https://www.publicknowledge.org/press-release/public-knowledge-urges-court-not-to-hang-up-on-consumers-in-fcc-lawsuit

Six lawsuits against FCC’s 5G idiocy – that $2bn windfall for telcos – is bundled into one appeals court sueball
Tenth Circuit wins lawsuit lottery over terrible policy  Nov. 7th, 2018 | Kieren McCarthy | The Register
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/11/07/fcc_5g_lawsuits_bundled/ 

Motion of Stay to FCC Order Filed 

MOTION FOR STAY OF THE NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES; THE UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF MAYORS; THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES; THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REGIONAL COUNCILS; THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TOWNS AND TOWNSHIPS; THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS OFFICERS AND ADVISORS; THE CITY OF ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN; ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, MARYLAND; THE CITY OF ARCADIA, CALIFORNIA; THE CITY OF ATLANTA, GEORGIA; THE CITY OF BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON; BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, MICHIGAN; THE CITY OF BROOKHAVEN, GEORGIA; THE CITY OF BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS; THE CITY OF BURIEN, WASHINGTON; THE CITY OF BURLINGAME, CALIFORNIA; THE CITY OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS; THE CITY OF COCONUT CREEK, FLORIDA; THE CITY OF COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND; THE COLORADO COMMUNICATIONS AND UTILITY ALLIANCE; THE CITY OF CULVER CITY, CALIFORNIA; THE CITY OF DALLAS, TEXAS; THE CITY OF DUBUQUE, IOWA; THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; THE TOWN OF FAIRFAX, CALIFORNIA; THE CITY OF GAITHERSBURG, MARYLAND; THE CITY OF GIG HARBOR, WASHINGTON; THE CITY OF HILLSBOROUGH, FLORIDA; HOWARD COUNTY, MARYLAND; THE CITY OF HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA; KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON; THE CITY OF KIRKLAND, WASHINGTON; THE CITY OF LACEY, WASHINGTON; THE CITY OF LAS VEGAS, NEVADA; THE LEAGUE OF ARIZONA CITIES AND TOWNS; THE LEAGUE OF CALIFORNIA CITIES; THE LEAGUE OF OREGON CITIES; THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA; THE CITY OF LINCOLN, NEBRASKA; THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA; MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, MICHIGAN; THE MICHIGAN COALITION TO PROTECT PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY; THE MICHIGAN MUNICIPAL LEAGUE; THE MICHIGAN TOWNSHIPS ASSOCIATION; THE CITY OF MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA; MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND; THE CITY OF MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA; THE CITY OF OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON; THE CITY OF ONTARIO, CALIFORNIA; THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA; THE CITY OF PIEDMONT, CALIFORNIA; THE CITY OF PLANO, TEXAS; THE CITY OF PORTLAND, OREGON; THE CITY OF RYE, NEW YORK; THE CITY OF SAN BRUNO, CALIFORNIA; THE CITY OF SAN JACINTO, CALIFORNIA; THE CITY OF SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA; THE CITY OF SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA; THE CITY OF SEATTLE, WASHINGTON; THE CITY OF SHAFTER, CALIFORNIA; THE CITY OF TACOMA, WASHINGTON; THE TEXAS COALITION OF CITIES FOR UTILITY ISSUES; THURSTON COUNTY, WASHINGTON; THE CITY OF TUMWATER, WASHINGTON; WASHINGTON COUNTY, WASHINGTON; AND THE CITY OF YUMA, ARIZONA 
https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/103154366759/MOTON%20FOR%20STAY.pdf

Order Denying Motion for Stay in WT Dkt No. 17-79 and WC Dkt No. 17-84 
https://www.fcc.gov/document/order-denying-motion-stay-wt-dkt-no-17-79-and-wc-dkt-no-17-84

March, 2018: FCC Largely Removes Environmental (NEPA) And Historic (NHPA) Reviews For “Small” Cell Siting

FCC Acts to Speed Deployment of Next-Gen Wireless Infrastructure

https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-acts-speed-deployment-next-gen-wireless-infrastructure-0

Chair Pai, and Commissioners O’Reilly and Carr approved removing most environmental and historic reviews for “small” cells. Commissioners Clyburne and Rosenworcel dissented.

“You can stick with the regulatory status quo or you can have 5g. You cannot have both.” FCC Chair, Ajit Pai (Mar. 2018) Many of us would choose “regulatory status quo”, health, and our earth over industry hype and profits.

The Order focuses on ensuring the Commission’s rules properly address the differences between large and small wireless facilities, and clarifies the treatment of small cell deployments. Specifically, the Order:

• Excludes small wireless facilities deployed on non-Tribal lands from National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review, concluding that these facilities are not “undertakings” or “major federal actions.” Small wireless facilities deployments continue to be subject to currently applicable state and local government approval requirements.

• Clarifies and makes improvements to the process for Tribal participation in Section 106 historic preservation reviews for large wireless facilities where NHPA/NEPA review is still required.

• Removes the requirement that applicants file Environmental Assessments solely due to the location of a proposed facility in a floodplain, as long as certain conditions are met.

• Establishes time frames for the Commission to act on Environmental Assessments.

 

NRDC and tribal communities challenge this FCC Order

Two months after the FCC filed its order, NRDC challenged it in court. They have been joined by various American Indian tribes across the country, as well as the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

https://www.nrdc.org/court-battles/nrdc-v-federal-communications-commission

FCC Chair Ajit Pai And Other Commissioners Address The Free State Foundation

The Free State Foundation (an organization with close ties to ALEC https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Free_State_Foundation) hosted its annual telecommunications policy conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. This portion of the event included a video welcome from FCC Chair Ajit Pai, a conversation with FCC Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr. Presentation covers rural broadband access, 5G mobile network technology and repealing net neutrality rules,
https://www.c-span.org/video/?443160-1/telecommunications-policy (Ajit Pai video address to the FSF audience begins at 9 Minutes in.)

In 2013, the FCC opened a Docket inviting comments on revising the antiquated and irrelevant to human health FCC guidelines for radio frequency microwave radiation. Comments poured into the FCC calling for the standards to be updated based on robust research that shows health impacts at levels far below the current FCC guidelines. 

 

2013 Docket, Et Docket No. 03-137

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 an FCC spokesperson, 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. But what is clear is that no public official, City or County Council member can assure the public the FCC standards are protective of health. And they are not. For more on the FCC RF guidelines and health impacts, please see, https://ehtrust.org/policy/fcc-safety-standards/  

Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) in ET Docket No. 03-137
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.”
http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2013/db0422/FCC-13-39A1.pdf

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

 

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.”
For more about BDAC, please see
https://www.fcc.gov/broadband-deployment-advisory-committee

 

FCC Packs Broadband Advisory Group With Big Telecom Firms, Trade Groups

FCC packs broadband advisory group with big telecom firms, trade groups  Local government officials, largely frozen out, fear they’re about to get rolled   Aug. 11th, 2017 | Blake Dodge | Center For Public Integrity
Article detailing how although cities clearly have a large stake in small cell deployment, city officials were grossly underrepresented in choosing BDAC Committee members.
“Sixty-four city and state officials were nominated for the panel, but the agency initially chose only two…[they later added a third]….Instead the FCC loaded the 30-member panel with corporate executives, trade groups and free-market scholars.”
“local officials say their exclusion from the committee reflects a not-so-hidden agenda — one pushed by Pai himself with help from his allies in Big Telecom: to create a set of rules that lets the telecom more easily put their equipment in neighborhoods with far less local oversight.”
https://www.publicintegrity.org/2017/08/11/21057/fcc-packs-broadband-advisory-group-big-telecom-firms-trade-groups

 

Two Resigned From Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee

Mayor Sam Liccardo:

One of the very few members of BDAC that represented the interests of municipalities was San Jose’s Mayor Sam Liccardo. In Jan. 2018, Mayor Liccardo resigned, explaining, “The group [BDAC] seems to be working for the interests of the telecom industry and not the public.

“This was political well before I ever stepped into it to the extent that we have an administration that’s in the pocket of the industry.”

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/01/25/san-jose-mayor-sam-liccardo-quits-fcc-broadband-advisory-board/

Letter of Resignation from Sam Liccardo to FCC Chair Ajit Pai.
http://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/7446

Miguel Gamiño:
Another Top Official Quits the FCC’s Corrupt ‘Broadband Committee’
In Jan. 2018, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo quit FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee stating it seems to be working for industry interests and not the public. Now NY City’s CTO Miguel Gamiño Jr. follows suit. According to Gamiño’s March 28th resignation letter to FCC Chair Ajit Pai, the New York official said that after participating in “100 hours of calls,” attending a full day in-person meeting in Washington D.C. and submitting “countless edits, drafts and comments,” he has determined that “despite good faith efforts by both the staff and members involved, the membership structure and meeting format of the BDAC has skewed the drafting of the proposed recommendations towards industry priorities without regard for a true public-private partnership.”
https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2018/04/05/new-york-fcc-broadband/

 

Who Sits On The Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee? Center For Public Integrity

“Three out of every four of the 30 members on the BDAC work for telecommunications companies, trade organizations that represent them or think tanks that argue the same anti-regulatory positions.”

https://www.publicintegrity.org/2017/08/11/21056/who-sits-broadband-deployment-advisory-committee

American Cities Are Fighting Big Business Over Wireless Internet, and They’re Losing
“It’s often lost on the public just how badly they’re being screwed”  April 25th, 2018 | Eric Newcomer| Bloomberg Technology
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-25/american-cities-are-fighting-big-business-over-wireless-internet-and-they-re-losing

 

FCC Takes Steps To Free Up More Spectrum For 5G

In preparation for upcoming spectrum auctions, the agency voted to set forth rules on bands previously allocated for flexible use, including an operability requirement for the entire 24 GHz band; a sharing framework to allow use of a portion of the 24 GHz band for terrestrial wireless operations Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) earth stations; a band plan for the lower 37 GHz band; and spectrum aggregation rules applicable to certain bands.
https://www.wirelessweek.com/news/2018/06/fcc-takes-steps-free-more-spectrum-5g

 

Instructions For Submitting Comments To The FCC

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

 

Of Note

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.

Inform the Public of Wireless Tech Risks — 33 Recommendations for the Federal Communications Commission,
http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/33-recommendations-fcc/

 

For More on the FCC Please Visit

http://scientists4wiredtech.com/2018/09/30-fcc-actions-in-2017-2018-eliminate-states-rights-and-consumer-protections/