5G and the FCC — Ten Reasons Why You Should Care

By Sharon Buccino, Feb 13, 2019 | Original NRDC article here.

As an environmental lawyer for over 25 years now, I have become intimately familiar with the workings of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior. I didn’t have occasion to watch what was happening across town at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Now I do. Here are ten reasons why you might want to also.

1. Created in 1934, the FCC regulates all interstate communications — both wired and wireless — as well as international communications originating or terminating in the United States. In the words of the Telecommunications Act of 1934, the FCC was established to provide “to all the people of the United States, without discrimination . . . a rapid, efficient, Nationwide, and world-wide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges.” 47 U.S.C. § 151. The law requires the FCC to serve the public interest.

2. Wireless communication touches every aspect of life. Smart phones are used by billions of people across the globe. As volume of data increases and delay decreases, wireless service is expanding beyond person-to-person communication. The possibility of the “Internet of Things” combined with Artificial Intelligence may impact every aspect of human life including transportation, education and health care.

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The Dangers of 4G and 5G to Children’s Health

By the Children’s Health Defense Team, Feb 13, 2019 | Original article here

Mobile and wireless technologies are a ubiquitous feature of modern life. Most U.S. adults own smartphones, a growing proportion are “smartphone-only” Internet users and over a fourth report being online “almost constantly.” As for children, a 2014 survey of high-income nations reported that almost seven in ten children used a mobile phone, and two-thirds of those had a smartphone, usually by age 10. As described by Nielsen, it is now as common to see “a kid with a smartphone in their hand” as it was to see “a kid playing with a yo-yo in the years before the digital age.”

The enthusiasm with which the public has embraced each new mobile and wireless technology — none of which has never undergone any appropriate safety testing or standards development — suggests that consumers rarely stop to consider the health implications of the infrastructure shoring up their ability to browse, stream and download anytime and “on the go.”

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Enough of the 5G Wireless Hype, Choose FTTH

By Ernesto Falcon, Feb 11, 2019 | Original Electronic Frontier Foundation here.

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Wireless carriers are working hard to talk up 5G (Fifth Generation) wireless as the future of broadband. But don’t be fooled — they are only trying to focus our attention on 5G to try to distract us from their willful failure to invest in a proven ultrafast option for many Americans: fiber to the home, or FTTH.

A recent FCC report on competition found that the future of high-speed broadband for most Americans will be a cable monopoly. Without a plan to promote fiber to the home, that’s not likely to change. In fact, because the 5G upgrade relies on fiber infrastructure, even 5G will be possibly limited to areas that already have FTTH – meaning, they already have a competitive landscape and, therefore, better service. The rest of us will continue to get monopolistic slow lanes.

Regulators and policymakers focusing only on 5G wireless are setting us up to fail. Only aggressive promotion of competitive high-speed wireline infrastructure can ensure that

  1. The 68 million Americans that currently have access to only one high-speed ISP will have options (and, in turn, the ability to vote with their wallets if service is slow),
  2. The 19 million Americans with no access at all can leapfrog into the 21st century of broadband access.

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The GOP Is Introducing More Fake Net Neutrality Bills

Adapted from an article by Dell Cameron, Feb 8, 2019 | Original Gizomodo article here

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Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio leaves the office of House Speaker Paul Ryan on Capitol Hill in Washington

This Obvious Trick is Getting Very Old . . .

GOP lawmakers are preparing to introduce yet another piece of legislation that purports to restore net neutrality just a year after Republicans moved to dismantle it.

A supporter of the Federal Communication Commissions’ repeal of net neutrality, Rep. Bob Latta, a Republican of Ohio, is introducing H.R. 1001, described as "Amending Title I of the Communications Act to provide for internet openness, and for other purposes.”

While the final text of the bill is not currently available online, you can read the bill's discussion draft text here, or quoted below.

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NCTA Asks for Net Neutrality Law That Allows Paid Prioritization

By Jon Brodkin, Feb 7, 2019 | Original ARS Technical article here.

The National Cable Television Association (NCTA), the Cable TV Industry's lobbying group, says paid prioritization should be allowed if it creates a public benefit.


Cable industry chief lobbyist Michael Powell today asked Congress for a net neutrality law that would ban blocking and throttling but allow Internet providers to charge for prioritization under certain circumstances.

Powell — a Republican who was the FCC chairman from 2001 to 2005 and is now CEO of cable lobby group NCTA — spoke to lawmakers today at a Communications and Technology subcommittee hearing on net neutrality (see a transcript of Powell's prepared testimony).

Powell said there is common ground around the basic tenets of net neutrality rules: There should be no blocking or throttling of lawful content. There should be no paid prioritization that creates fast lanes and slow lanes, absent public benefit. And, there should be transparency to consumers over network practices.

Despite Powell's claim of common ground, his statement on paid prioritization illustrates a divide between the broadband industry and proponents of net neutrality rules. Obama-era Federal Communications Commission rules banned paid prioritization as well as blocking and throttling, while Trump's FCC overturned the ban on all three practices. Net neutrality advocates are trying to restore those rules in full in a court case against the FCC, and any net neutrality law proposed by Democrats in Congress would likely mirror the Obama-era FCC rules. Republican lawmakers are preparing legislation that would impose weaker rules.

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US House Hearing on Preserving an Open Internet

The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on Thu, Feb 7, 2019 at 11:00 am in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled “Preserving an Open Internet for Consumers, Small Businesses, and Free Speech.”

Preserving an Open Internet for Consumers, Small Businesses, and Free Speech

Key Documents

  • Hearing Announcement Press Release

  • Memorandum from Chairman Pallone to the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology

Witnesses

  • Mr. Tom Wheeler Fellow, Brookings InstitutionTestimony

  • Ms. Jessica J. González, Vice President of Strategy & Senior Counsel, Free Press & Free Press Action FundTestimony

  • Ms. Denelle Dixon, Chief Operating Officer MozillaTestimony

  • Ms. Ruth Livier Actress, Writer, and UCLA Doctoral StudentTestimony

  • Mr. Michael Powell, President and CEO, NCTA – The Internet & Television AssociationTestimony

  • Mr. Joseph Franell, General Manager and CEO, Eastern Oregon TelecomTestimony

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RF-EMR Health Effects Discussed in the Public Record at US Senate Commerce Committee Hearing

Sen. Blumenthal on Extreme Density Wireless 4G and 5G CPMRA Infrastructure: The American people deserve to know what the health effects are.

  • RF-EMR = Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation
  • CPMRA = Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antenna
  • Feb 7, 2019 | Adapted from the original We Are the Evidence article here.

On Feb 6, 2019, RF-EMR health effects from wireless 4G and 5G infrastructure were mentioned in Senate Commerce Committee Hearing, titled "Winning the Race to 5G and the Next Era of Technology Innovation in the United States." The Senate Commerce Committee is entrusted to provide oversight of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Feb 6, 2019, Sen. Blumemthal at Senate Commerce Committee Hearing:
“So, we are flying blind here as far as health and safety is concerned.”

Steve Berry, Competitive Carriers Association @ 4:07

Senator, I am not aware . . . with small cells especially, you are going to have lower power levels . . .

Really Mr. Berry? Evidence at this web page, proves otherwise: peak levels of Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR) exposures at 100 feet from a so-called small cell at ground level (170,300 peak µW/m²) meters 53% higher than a similar meter reading at 300 feet from this macro tower (111,700 peak µW/m²), which is creating a public health crisis in Sebastopol, CA after nine years of RF-EMR exposures — something the FCC Commissioners were made aware of on Sept 25, 2018.

What has been the response to date from Crown Castle, AT&T or the FCC to correct this public health crisis since Sept 25, 2018? NOTHING . . . crickets . . . Bueller?


Additional Links:

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Broadband Zero Rating Costs Customers More

By Karl Bode, Feb 7 2019 | Original Motherboard article here.

Study suggests that ISPs shouldn’t be allowed to pick and choose winners on the Internet.


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The concept of “zero rating” — or the process of an internet service provider exempting certain content from broadband usage caps — has been controversial for several years now. But a new study suggests that ISP claims that zero rating saves consumers money are largely nonsense, and countries where the practice is avoided see lower wireless data prices overall.


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Comcast sends this on-screen popup to users who get close to eroding their usage allotments.

Many ISPs now implement caps on how much data customers can use in a month, charging you extra should you go over said limit. Data suggests these limits don’t serve any real purpose outside of charging captive customers more money, and as a deterrent for users who quit an ISP’s traditional TV services in favor of streaming video alternatives.

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IRREGULATORS Treasure Map, Part 2

Recover Billions of Dollars for Broadband in Your State

Adapted from an article by Bruce Kushnick, Feb 7, 2019 | Original Medium Article here.

  • First, read PART 1: Verizon-NY, Hiding a $5 Billion State Telecommunications Utility that No One Even Knows Exists.

  • Then return to PART 2: Recover Billions for Broadband in Your State

FOLLOW THE NUMBERS . . . FOLLOW THE MONEY

This treasure has been hidden deeply by the lawyers and accountants of Verizon, AT&T and the FCC. They have worked very hard to erase the history of what really happened, including the audit trail, but did not escape the sharp eyes of the IRREGULATORS.

Verizon-New York (Verizon-NY) is the only State Public Telecom Utility ('SPTU') still required to submit an annual report to its state. The FCC stopped publishing basic financial data in 2007 to cover all this up, and to cover up the real culprit — the FCC’s own accounting rules.

Recently, the acts of the FCC have attempted to steadily erase the remaining bits of the acounting trail and to absolve the Telecom Holding Cos. of massive wrong-doing — even more quickly. Let’s just start with the numbers presented:

DOWNLOAD: THE ACTUAL REPORT: Page 27 (the Treasure Map has been modified for clarity.)


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The image, above, is a marked up excerpt of the Verizon NY 2017 Annual Report, published in June, 2018

Continue reading “IRREGULATORS Treasure Map, Part 2”

IRREGULATORS Treasure Map, Part 1

Hiding a $5 Billion State Telecommunications Utility that No One Even Knows Exists.

Adapted from an article by Bruce Kushnick, Feb 6, 2018 | Original Medium article here.


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PART 1: Verizon NY, The Art of Hiding a $5 Billion Public State Telecommunications Utility ('PSTU') Company That Many Have Forgotten Even Exists

Everyone keeps asking the same basic questions:

  • Why do my communications bills keep going up?

  • Why isn’t the internet and broadband service considered a utility — one that is required to serve everyone equally at reasonable prices?

  • How do we stop the FCC’s current attack on the public interest with over 30 different interlocking actions and proceedings , each designed to erase Net Neutrality, shut off the legacy copper telephone and internet lines and block competition?

  • How can anyone believe that 5G, a wireless service that requires a fiber optic wire ever 1–2 city blocks and has a wireless range about the same can serve all of America? Answer: it cannot. This whole so-called Race to 5G is merely a real estate grab for extreme density 4G Wireless infrastructure installed in neighborhoods, in order for Verizon/AT&T et al. to market a fixed wireless video subscription, designed to compete against Comcast, Charter/Spectrum and other Cable TV companies.

  • How do we recover $500+ billion of misappropriated funds to complete the promised fiber optic to the premises (FTTP) broadband service in America, close the Digital Divide, lower prices and finally bring real competition to the telecommunications and information services markets?

  • How do we get the municipalities, especially in rural areas and low income areas, the same high-speed fiber optic services — that we all already paid for?

  • How do we explain that Verizon’s Wireless services depends on PSTU-owned-and-maintained wires (copper and fiber), as do Verizon’s Internet and Cable TV services? In addition, these unregulated, private, wireless subsidiaries are not paying market rates to use these wires.

  • Most importantly, why do we allow the companies that control the wires to also control . . .

    • the pricing of almost all services

    • who gets upgraded from copper to fiber and who doesn’t?

Continue reading “IRREGULATORS Treasure Map, Part 1”