Do Not Buy a 5G Smartphone

by Ron Amadeo – Dec 14, 2018 | Original ARS Technical article here.

We dive into the many ways first-gen 5G hardware will (temporarily?) ruin phone design.

2019 is going to be the year of 5G—at least, that’s what the cellular industry keeps saying. We’re going to see the launch of several 5G smartphones from OEMs like Samsung, Motorola, and OnePlus, and carriers will be tripping over themselves to tell you how awesome their new 5G networks are despite coming with a slew of asterisks. I would like to make something up about how ridiculous the 5G hype has gotten, but it’s hard to top actual quotes from industry executives, like Verizon’s claim that 5G will “dramatically improve our global society.” Faster mobile Internet is coming, but should you care about it yet?

Qualcomm recently had its big 2019 chip announcement, and as the world’s biggest provider of smartphone chips, that gives us a good idea of what the upcoming 5G hardware will look like. The industry is doing its best to hype 5G as The Next Big Thing™, but 5G hardware in 2019 is going to be a decidedly first-generation affair. Early adopters for 5G will have to accept all manner of tradeoffs. And when there might not even be 5G reception in your area, it might be better to just wait the whole thing out for several years.

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Cell Tower at Hospital Makes People at Petaluma Avenue Homes Sick

Adapted from the original Sonoma West Times article here by E.I. Hillin, Dec 12, 2018;

At recent Sebastopol City Council meetings, residents of Petaluma Avenue Homes, in Sebastopol, communicated substantial evidence of harm to them from ten years of exposure to pulsed, data-modulated, Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR) from a Cell Phone Tower that is only 260 feet from their homes. The residents in the second- and third-story apartments are being exposed to the main RF microwave radiation beam from four six-foot antennas that are aimed directly at them at window-height.

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US Attorney General Nominee is a Former Verizon Attorney

William Barr, nominee for U.S. Attorney General, was general counsel and executive VP for Verizon for 2000-2008.

Six Things to Know About AG Nominee William Barr

  1. Senators Choose Sides
  2. Confirmation and Praise from Joe Biden in 1991
  3. Tenure as Attorney General
  4. Views on Independent Investigators
  5. The Clintons and Uranium One
  6. Verizon, the CIA, and More

From 1973 to 1977, Barr was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Barr also served as Attorney General under President George W. Bush.

After leaving the Justice Department in 1993, Barr built a career in corporate law, serving as general counsel and executive vice president of Verizon Communications Inc. from 2000 to 2008. He was general counsel for GTE Corp. from 1994 until 2000, helping to negotiate a merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic Corp. that produced Verizon Communications. Barr spent more than 14 years as a senior corporate executive. At the end of 2008 he retired from Verizon Communications, having served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of GTE Corporation from 1994 until that company merged with Bell Atlantic to become Verizon.

During his corporate tenure, Barr directed a successful litigation campaign by the local telephone industry to achieve deregulation by scuttling a series of FCC rules, personally arguing several cases in the federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court.

This may have set the stage for the elimination of legacy POTS (Plain old telephone switched) copper line landlines.

If Barr becomes Attorney General and heads up the U.S. Department of Justice, it will affect all Smart Meter, wireless, cellphone, and cell tower legal cases. It could impact and gut ADA protections for those disabled by electromagnetic sensitivity (EMS). This appointment would block public access to the Department of Justice for legal remedies. His appointment will effectively be a telecom corporate takeover of the DOJ.

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Groundbreaking Study Examines Effects of Screen Time on Kids

60 Minutes goes inside a landmark government study of young minds to see if phones, tablets and other screens are impacting adolescent brain development.

The War for Attention

If you have kids and wonder if all that time they spend on their smartphones endlessly scrolling, snapping and texting is affecting their brains, you might want to put down your own phone and pay attention. The federal government, through the National Institutes of Health, has launched the most ambitious study of adolescent brain development ever attempted. In part, scientists are trying to understand what no one currently does: how all that screen time impacts the physical structure of your kids' brains, as well as their emotional development and mental health.

At 21 sites across the country scientists have begun interviewing nine and ten-year-olds and scanning their brains. They'll follow more than 11,000 kids for a decade, and spend $300 million doing it. Dr. Gaya Dowling of the National Institutes of Health gave us a glimpse of what they've learned so far.

Read more here.

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Compliance Problems for 5G Rollout Detailed in New Technical Paper

A newly released paper by Esra Neufeld and Niels Kuster identifies serious compliance problems for the 5G millimeter wave rollout and says existing IEEE and ICNIRP safety guidelines are urgently need to be revised.

Systematic Derivation of Safety Limits for Time-Varying 5G Radiofrequency Exposure Based on Analytical Models and Thermal Dose.

by Neufeld E, Kuster N., Health Physics, December 2018, Volume 115, Number 6 | See pubmed.

Foundation for Research on Information Technologies in Society (IT’IS), Zeughausstrasse 43, 8004 Zurich, Switzerland; 2Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland.

The paper says is that permanent tissue damage may occur even after short exposures to 5G millimeter wave pulse trains. It says there is an urgent need for new safety standards to address the kind of health risks possible with this new technology.

If 5G millimeter wave transmissions associated with new technologies fail to meet current public safety standards as the authors predict (see the range of applications below), then the rollout of IOT becomes questionable on less controversial safety reasoning than arguing against 5G based on low-intensity (non-thermal) health effects for which no operative public safety standards yet exist.

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Broadband Users Still Not Getting The Speeds They Pay For

FCC Tries to Bury Report Showing The Clear Evidence of This Fraud

By Karl Bode Dec 7, 2018 | Original Techdirt article here.

From the hiding-it-won't-make-it-go-away department . . .

So every year like clockwork since 2011 the FCC has released a report naming and shaming ISPs that fail to deliver advertised broadband speeds. The Measuring American Broadband program, which the FCC runs in conjunction with UK firm SamKnows, uses custom-firmware embedded routers in subscriber homes to collect data on real-world speeds (an improvement from years past when the FCC would just take ISPs' at their word).

In the years since, the program has been an effective way to name and shame ISPs that fail to deliver speeds promised to consumers. For example, in the first report, the FCC announced that some ISPs, like New York's Cablevision, had delivered just 50% of advertised speeds during peak hours. By the next report Cablevision had moved to fix its under-provisioning issues, and the FCC found that the company was now offering more bandwidth than advertised at peak hours. In the absence of more competition, simply using real data was a useful way to motivate apathetic regional monopolies to try a little harder.

Of course last year that all changed under Ajit Pai, when the FCC boss refused to release the report at all. After being pressured by telecom beat reporters to explain why, the FCC this week finally released some of the data . . . buried in the appendix of a much larger report (pdf) few will actually read.

Ajit Pai’s attempt to bury belated data in a study appendix nobody will read is just another example of Pai’s blind fealty to the industries he is supposed to be holding accountable.

The data showcase how many broadband providers — mostly telcos selling aging, slow and pricey DSL — routinely fail to deliver speeds consumers are paying for:

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Blumenthal/Eshoo Press Release Dec. 3, 2018

Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) 5G Safety Statement, December 3, 2018

For Immediate Release

December 3, 2018


[WASHINGTON, DC]—Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representative Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18) sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr seeking answers regarding potential health risks posed by new 5G wireless technology.

On November 1, 2018, the National Toxicology Program released the final results of the longest and most expensive study to date on cellphones and cancer. Those studies found “some evidence” of a link to cancer, at least in male rats. However, the study only focused on the risks associated with 2G and 3G cell phones. There has been even more limited research with respect to the health ramifications of 5G technology.

Since 5G uses higher frequency waves that don’t travel as far, this new wireless technology will rely on the deployment of thousands of “small cell” antennas closer to the ground and near homes and school. At a recent hearing in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Commissioner Carr dismissed Mayor Paul TenHaken’s awareness about the health ramifications of these cell towers.

Blumenthal and Eshoo write in the letter to Commissioner Carr.

“To ensure we communicate accurate information to our constituents—many of whom have concerns similar to Mayor TenHaken’s—we respectfully request you provide to our offices the 5G safety determination from FCC and relevant health agencies that you referred to during the field hearing. Please also include current citations for the studies informing that safety determination. Like Mayor TenHaken, we recognize that the literature on 5G technology may be limited ‘because it’s so new,’ and are interested in acquainting ourselves with the latest studies evaluating the health effects of high-band frequencies and modulations that would be used in 5G networks,”

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Sen. Blumenthal Wants FCC to Prove 5G Wireless Technology Will Not Harm Americans

By Ana Radelat, Dec 3, 2018 | Original article here and here.

Washington – U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is leading a campaign to determine whether new 5G wireless technology is safe and is asking the federal government for proof the cutting edge radio-frequency will not harm Americans or cause them to get cancer.

On Monday, Blumenthal, D-Conn., a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., wrote to Federal Communications Commission Brendan Carr seeking information on how his agency has determined 5G technology is safe.

“We need to know whether the radio frequencies can cause cancer,” Blumenthal said at a press conference in Hartford on Monday.

The FCC did not have an immediate response to the letter.

Blumenthal said 5G technology “is a vast improvement” over the 2G and 3G radio waves that allow wireless devices like cell phones and computers to operate. “But there is also a peril of health hazards associated with radio-frequency that is higher and requires more transmitters and antennas,” he said.

The issue of whether 5G technology is safe was raised by Paul TenHaken, the mayor of Sioux Falls, S.D., at a Commerce Committee field hearing last month.
At that hearing, TenHaken asked Carr for “clear direction” and studies that show 5G towers, which would be placed near schools, libraries and homes, would not pose a risk to his constituents.

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Sen. Blumenthal and Rep. Eshoo 5G Safety Letter to the FCC

The following is the original text with a few relevant bolded emphases, links and blockquotes added; read the original letter here, or the text, below. The Business Wire press release is here.

Congress of the United States

Washington, DC 20510

December 3, 2018

The Honorable Brendan Carr
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street. SW
Washington, DC 20554

Dear Commissioner Carr:

We write with interest regarding your recent remarks on the safety of 5G technologies during a Senate Commerce Committee field hearing in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

During this hearing, the Mayor of Sioux Falls, the Honorable Paul TenHaken, asked about the health ramifications of 5G and small cell deployment.

Mayor Paul Tenhaken: I feel we also need to address . . . what health impacts micro millimeter waves have because it’s so new. I’m going to get asked this 20 times yet this evening about the health ramifications of 5G . . . I’m hearing this more and more.

His request as the leader of his municipality, was for clear direction, talking points, studies that have been done that show that there is no harm to our constituents and to the taxpayers on putting these small cells on towers close to libraries, close to schools, close to their homes.

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Dec 3 Press Conference re: Sen Blumenthal Letter to the FCC

Legislative Office Building, Hartford, CT, Room 1B, 11:00 AM.

Comments by: B. Blake Levitt,
Communications Director, The Berkshire-Litchfield Environmental Council, Invited Guest by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal

Re: U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal’s Letter to FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr About 5G Health Hazards

Senator Blumenthal:

“The stark, simple fact is, the health hazards are unknown and unstudied. And that is a sign of neglect and disregard on the part of the Federal Communications Commission that is unacceptable. We need to know whether 4G and 5G technology can cause neurological problems, DNA damage, cancer and other diseases."

To my press colleagues — thank you for a few moments of your time to address a most significant issue.

I’m Blake Levitt, a medical and science journalist, author, and communications director for The Berkshire – Litchfield Environmental Council — a tri-state nonprofit housed in the Northwest Hills. BLEC has focused on the how infrastructure affects biology, which most environmental organizations do not. We have been ardent fans of Senator Blumenthal for decades as, in our opinion, he is always on the right side for the environment. And he is proving that again today with his letter to the FCC, seeking clarification on the safety of the next generation of technology called 5G.

Thank you Senator Blumenthal for taking on this most significant and complex issue – you go where angels fear to tread!

The importance of Senator Blumenthal’s letter could not be more timely, or ask more pertinent questions. The FCC has been described by Harvard University ’s Center for Ethics writer, Norm Alster, as “the most captured agency in DC,” acting more as an industry cheerleader than a regulator. This is especially true today with 5G where there could be serious safety harms and misleading information coming from FCC.1 Senator Blumenthal’s questions to FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr pull back the curtain on that.

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