30+ FCC Actions in 2017-2018 Eliminate States Rights and Consumer Protections

By Bruce Kushnick. Sept 26, 2018; Original article here

FCC Actions for Proceeding Docket 17-79

Wireline Telecommunications Bureau (WTB)

Num Division Item Date Form
1 Office of General Counsel Doc 8/17/18 PUB NOTICE
2 WTB & WCB Docs 8/3/18 R&O
3 WCB Docs 8/2/18 OTHER
4 Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Doc 7/24/18 PUB NOTICE
5 WTB Doc 7/2/18 PUB NOTICE
6 Communications Business Opportunities Doc 5/3/18 OTHER
7 WTB Docs 3/30/18 R&O
8 WTB Doc 3/22/18 OTHER
9 WTB Docs 12/14/17 PUB NOTICE
10 WTB Docs 12/14/17 OTHER
11 WTB Docs 11/17/17 R&O
12 WTB Docs 11/16/17 OTHER
13 WTB Docs 7/13/17 ORDER
14 WTB Docs 5/26/17 ORDER
15 WTB Docs 5/11/17 PUB NOTICE
16 WTB Docs 5/11/17 PUB NOTICE
17 WTB Docs 4/21/17 NPRM
18 WTB Docs 4/20/17 OTHER
19 Office of Chairman Ajit Pai Docs 3/30/17 OTHER
20 WTB Docs 3/30/17 PUB NOTICE

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The Real Race is to Serve All Americans

Adapted from an article by Tom Wheeler September 25, 2018; Original article here

September 28 will see a White House rally to promote U.S. leadership in fifth generation (5G) wireless technology. I was part of a similar event at the Clinton White House in 1993 that promoted the importance of making more spectrum available through auctions that were then being considered by Congress. This time around, it looks like the messaging will be around the “5G race” between the United States and China

Wireless Industry groups warn that the U.S. is in third place behind China and South Korea when it comes to 5G. The so-called “5G gap” has become the go-to rationale for all kinds of industry-sought policy changes. Judging by how the issue is framed, the U.S. is on the verge of losing the “5G race” to China.

  • T-Mobile and Sprint warn that the U.S. will lose the 5G race if the companies are not allowed to merge (while announcing their own non-merged 5G deployment plans).

  • The Trump Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has used the race to justify extending Washington’s regulatory reach down to telling local governments how to do zoning for antenna siting (this from the “deregulatory” administration).

  • Satellite operators such as Intelsat, whose C-Band transmission business has atrophied, have discovered they can recast their licenses as “5G spectrum”. The satellite companies are asking the Trump FCC for permission to conduct a private auction that would allow them to reap a potential monetary windfall instead of U.S. taxpayers.

It is time to take a deep breath and let logic temper emotional battle cries and political gamesmanship. We need to spend less time worrying about China and more time asking how we can race to make broadband work for all Americans.

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Nine US House Members Oppose FCC Action That Harms Consumers

Rep. McNerney Leads Letter Urging FCC to Delay Vote Undermining Communities’ Ability to Meet Needs of Residents

By Jerry McNerney Sep 25, 2018 Press Release here

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09), along with eight Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, requesting the proposed Streamlining Deployment of Next Generation Wireless Infrastructure Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order be removed from tomorrow’s Open Meeting agenda.

The letter was also signed by

  1. Congressman Mike Doyle (PA-14)
  2. Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06)
  3. Congressman Eliot Engle (NY-16)
  4. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12)
  5. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (NY-09)
  6. Congressman Peter Welch (VT-At-Large)
  7. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (CA-18)
  8. Congressman John Sarbanes (MD-03)

The letter reads:

"Dear Chairman Pai:

We support swift deployment of 5G and are concerned that the proposed Streamlining Deployment of Next Generation Wireless Infrastructure Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order (“Declaratory Ruling and Order”) will set us on a path that will ultimately delay 5G efforts. Many cities and counties of varying sizes across the country have spoken out against this proposal and urged the Commission to cooperatively address key concerns so as to avoid harm to consumers and localities. Given the reasons outlined below, we ask that you remove the item from the Open Meeting agenda and take the time needed to resolve these issues. Thoughtful consideration now will benefit consumers and avoid unnecessary delays that may result from future litigation.

We are excited about the opportunities that 5G will bring—including its potential to increase broadband connectivity, transform health care and transportation, and make our power grids more efficient — and we are eager to see 5G deployed. However, in order to achieve the best outcome for consumers, it is crucial that 5G be deployed in a way that carefully balances the interests of both communities and the wireless carriers. The Declaratory Ruling and Order clearly falls short of striking such a balance.

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5G Wireless Is Not Profitable When the Cross-Subsidies Stop

By Bruce Kushnick, Sept 23, 2018; Original article here.

Cross Subsidies from Your State’s Wired, State-Based Telecom Utility to Separate Private Wireless Companies Have Been Floating this Wireless Expansion For a Long Time — this must end,

On September, 26, 2018, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr will present a plan for deploying 5G, which claims that rural areas will benefit and that federal actions are needed to help create billions in investments.

“And yet still too many communities, especially in rural America, feel that they may be left behind. Their elected leaders have called on the FCC to act because they are concerned that, without federal action, they may not see 4G, let alone 5G service. They worry that the billions of dollars of investment needed to deploy next-gen networks will be consumed by high fees and long delays in big, ‘must serve’ cities.”

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FCC Ex Parte Comment for WT Docket 17-79

September 17, 2018

Ms. Marlene H. Dortch
Secretary Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW
Washington, District of Columbia 20554

RE: Accelerating Wireline Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment, WC Docket No. 17-84; Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment, WT Docket No. 17-79

Dear Ms. Dortch,

As director of Maryland Smart Meter Awareness (MSMA) and as researcher and creator of https://www.whatis5g.info, I would like to add to the record MSMA’s strong opposition to the Order Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment, which represents a complete reversal of FCC’s mandate to regulate the wireless industry and replaces it with an Order that instead regulates the public and local municipalities.

As stated in my original comments, the vast majority of people still don’t know what 5G is; don’t know that wireless radiation emitting antennas will be placed in front of homes throughout the US; and remain uninformed about the adverse health impacts of wireless radiation. Without this knowledge, there can be no due process.

Wireless antennas in residential areas will impact the health, safety, and quality of life of us all so profoundly that to vote through this Order without adequate public understanding and input would be a clear violation of our rights. At the very least, the Commission should postpone this vote until November to allow sufficient time for the public to review and comment on the 100-page Docket.

The densification of our communities with wireless “small cells”, the Internet of Things, “Smart” Cities, and whatever other applications industry dreams up, would render public spaces inaccessible to people with Electromagnetic Sensitivity (EMS), and some may even be forced from their homes. Would anywhere be left safe for them? It would appear that forced densification of communities with radiation emitting towers would present a clear ADA violation.

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ADA Rights Ignored in FCC WT Docket 17-79

From https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?q=filers.name:(Merry%20Callahan)&sort=date_disseminated,DESC

June 17, 2017

Hello FCC,

Please include my comment in opposition to proceedings on the expediting and expansion of 5G networking onto public right of way and poles, and the stand-down of copper-lines in both urban and rural areas. I request that a 30-day extension to comments be granted on these proceedings, WT Dockets 17-84 & 17-79, with a 30-day extension to replies on comments.

Further, I request a moratorium on these and other expansion of networking policy recommendations by FCC until such time that evidence can be shown that these two docket items, and expansions like them when implemented, can comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and 42 U.S.C 12101 et seq.

I am an acknowledged member of the protected class with the characteristic of ‘disabled by electromagnetic sensitivities’ (EMS), which is recognized by The Access Board. https://www.access-board.gov/research/completed-research/indoor-environmental-quality/introduction.

Exposure to cellular technology violently exacerbates my genetic vertigo disease and exacerbates my life threatening upper cervical spinal column and brain stem injury and the pervasive nerve damage remaining after recovery. This effect on damaged, or amputated nerves and autonomic nervous system injury and genetic damage such as mine is well known, and is specifically referenced in appendices and testimony at the ADA’s site.

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Scott Wiener Paints Ajit Pai as Telecom Shill

California Net Neutrality Fight Escalates

by Dell Cameron 9/14/18 | Original Gizmodo article here,

The feud between federal Republican officials and the architects of California’s recently passed (but as of yet unsigned) net neutrality legislation intensified Friday, with State Senator Scott Wiener, the bill’s principal author, accusing the FCC of being bought and paid for by the telecom industry. Wiener, a Democrat of San Francisco, returned fire in a statement after Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, referred to Wiener’s Senate Bill 822 as an “egregious” example of net neutrality proponents “pushing state governments to regulate the internet.”

FCC Chairman Ajt Pai said in a speech Friday at the Maine Heritage Policy Center

“Last month, the California state legislature passed a radical, anti-consumer Internet regulation bill that would impose restrictions even more burdensome than those adopted by the FCC in 2015. In a way, I can understand how they succumbed to the temptation to regulate. After all, I suppose a broadband pipe might look to some like a plastic straw.”

Wiener countered after the speech, saying that, unlike the FCC, California isn’t run “by the big telecom and cable companies.”

CA State Senator Scott Wiener:

“Pai can take whatever potshots at California he wants. The reality is that California is the world’s innovation capital, and unlike the crony capitalism promoted by the Trump Administration, California understands exactly what it takes to foster an open innovation economy with a level playing field,”

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Across the U.S., 5G Runs Into Local Resistance

By Drew FitzGerald, Sept. 13, 2018 } Original Wall Street Journal article here.

City officials also complain they don’t have enough staff to handle the applications. But state and federal authorities are in the carriers’ corner.

Small cells, essential for 5G service, include the conspicuous, as in Santa Rosa, Calif. , where the box on the ground was removed after complaints but those on the pole remained; and the less conspicuous (center) and well camouflaged (right), both in Nashville.

Residents of Denver’s Riviera apartments were surprised earlier this year when a roughly 30-foot-tall green pole appeared a few feet in front of their building entrance. The pole, installed by Verizon Communications Inc. and laden with cellular antennas, was designed to improve cellphone service in the area, but the residents complained about the placement.

Months later, it was gone. But that was just a small taste of what’s to come across the country: Millions of Americans will soon encounter similar poles or notice antennas sprouting on existing structures, like utility poles, street lamps and traffic lights, all over their neighborhoods. All four national cellphone companies are pushing to build out their networks with a profusion of small, local cells to keep their data-hungry customers satisfied and lay the groundwork for fifth-generation, or 5G, service.

Those plans face pushback in many places, and not just from residents. Officials in some cities say they don’t have enough staff to process applications for dozens or even hundreds of new installations. In some smaller towns, officials say they lack the expertise to review the new technology, though they’re working fast to get up to speed.

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Mayors, Counties Balk at FCC 5G Streamlining Proposal

By Jason Plautz, Sept. 13, 2018 | Original article here.

Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) said in a statement that it would sue the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) if the commission does not change a proposed policy that would preempt local control in a bid to streamline installation of 5G wireless infrastructure.
  • The National Association of Counties is also opposing the proposal, telling POLITICO it would "effectively prevent local governments from properly examining the impact that construction, modification or installation of broadcasting facilities may have on public health, safety and welfare of the local community."
  • The proposal from FCC commissioner Brendan Carr would bar municipal laws prohibiting deployment of 5G small cells and would set deadlines for municipalities to approve or disapprove applications to install small cells or build new poles. The plan is set for a vote on Sept. 26.

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Mill Valley Blocks Small Cells Over Health Findings

By Michelle Robertson, September 11, 2018 | Adapted from this SF Gate article

Mill Valley has yet to receive a single proposal to deploy 4G or 5G so-called "Small Cell" towers within town limits. That has not stopped city officials from blocking the installations in residential areas altogether. Most telecommunications companies say that the future is 5G, but that future will not be coming to the residential zones in this upscale town in Marin County.

The Mill Valley City Council voted unanimously last week to block deployments of 4G and 5G towers in the city’s residential areas by activating an urgency ordinance. The legislation, which is active immediately, allows authorities to enact regulations protecting the health and safety of residents. San Anselmo and Ross have already adopted similar ordinances.

Mill Valley Mayor Stephanie Moulton-Peters told the Marin Independent Journal.

"The urgency ordinance has standards to limit and prohibit the installations of devices in residential neighborhoods, but there is more that we can do,"

The paper said residents from all over Marin "packed the council chambers" to urge officials to prevent cell phone companies from building 4G and 5G towers on utility and light piles in the city’s residential areas.The public’s opposition to the towers was supported by substantial information entered into the public record reporting, neurological, cardiac and other health problems, associated with exposures to RF electromagnetic microwave radiation (RF-EMR) at levels far below the outdated Federal RF-EMR exposure guidelines

According to the EMF Safety Network, the consequences of 24/7 exposures to RF microwave radiation include

  • DNA damage
  • Headaches
  • Learning and memory disorders
  • Sleep problems and fatigue
  • Melatonin suppression
  • Increased rates of heart and brain cancer

Continue reading “Mill Valley Blocks Small Cells Over Health Findings”