Verizon 4G/5G Antennas Put Sonomans on Edge

by Christian Kallen Aug 9, 2018; Original Sonoma Index-Tribune article here

It was almost a full year ago, on Aug. 24, 2017, that the City of Sonoma Planning Department received the first of 10 applications from Verizon to build a series of “wireless telecommunications small cell nodes” in town, the first atop a utility pole near 725 Verano Ave.

Since that time, nine more applications have been made for such installations, most near private homes, but three of them on commercial properties. The stated reason for the multiple small cell transmitters – 5G Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas, or CPMRA – is so Verizon can provide improved wireless voice and data service in town, filling in purported coverage gaps.

But opponents of the new transmitters hold that they are dangerous, untested and unnecessary.

They also contend that the Planning Department has been slow to schedule public review of the new technology in Sonoma, a failure, they say, that puts the health of Sonoma residents at risk – with potential decrease of property values if not financial liability.

Such small-cell networks have run into public opposition in several local cities, including in Petaluma which recently put a 500-foot setback from residences on the transmission devices, and Santa Rosa which “paused” the ongoing installation of the Verizon small-cell network in June.

But in Sonoma, the first public hearing on the small-cell transmission project is finally being heard late this month, on Aug. 30, a full year after the proposals were filed by Verizon.

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Large ISPs Disregard Rural America

By Ernesto Falcon, August 9, 2018 | Original Electronic Frontier Foundation article here.

Companies like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon are going around to state legislatures and telling them that any laws they pass that protect consumers will harm their ability to deploy networks in rural America. They claim that any legislator eager to protect their constituents from the nefarious things that can be done by companies that control access to the Internet is somehow hurting residents most desperate for an Internet connection. But their lack of willingness to invest has nothing to do with laws like net neutrality or privacy, because today they are nearly completely deregulated, sitting on a mountain of cash, and have no shown intention of connecting rural Americans to high-speed Internet while their smaller competitors take up the challenge.

The Tax Cuts from Congress Gave Them Billions in New Profits Followed by No New Plans to Roll out New Networks

Congress cut corporate tax rates last year and substantially increased the profit margins of large ISPs. In total, the top three major ISPs expect to receive an additional $8.8 billion in profits just from the tax cuts alone for 2018 (Verizon – $4 billion, AT&T – $3 billion, Comcast $1.8 billion) on top of the more than $34 billion (their profits in 2016) they are expected to collect in profits. What has happened with a vast majority of that new money has not been invested in expanding or upgrading their networks to fiber to the home (FTTH), which is necessary to have a network able to handle the coming advancements in Internet services, but rather in stock buybacks. That is to say that they are not using their money to improve things for their customers but to increase the share of the profits each shareholder gets all while leaving rural America to languish.

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How Real Is the Race to 5G?

Adapted from a Fortune article by Aaron Pressman, 8/7/18; Original article here.

A New Deloitte 5G Report, commissioned by the CTIA, Tries To Explain Why Winning the Race to 5G Matters

This kind of report sounds very similar to a 2017 5G report, by Accenture, also commissioned by the CTIA, that posited familiar unsubstantiated projections that are blindly repeated by many in Congress, at the FCC to justify heinous orders by the FCC in 2017–2018 and Federal Bills such as S.3157 — The STREAMLINE Deployment of Small Cells Act of 2018, which is attempting to rewrite Section 704 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act (also known as 47 U.S. Code § 332(c)(7) or the Facilities Siting; Radio Frequency Emission Standards Section.

S.3157, as written, is a disaster for local communities: it is extreme Federal overreach that will severely limit the actions local governments can take on all Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) siting and will significantly reduce the time local governments will have to process these applications — all in an effort to make deployments cheaper, faster, and more consistent across jurisdictions.

In short, S.3157 will unnecessarily shove down the throats of those living in residential areas a slew of Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antenna – Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (CPMRA-WTFs), aka so-called "Small Cells", proposed for Utility poles and Light poles that are as close as 15 to 50 feet to homes. If you don’t like the sound of that future for your community, then please go here to learn more and help define a better future for your community:

CPMRA-WTF installations in residential zones are unnecessary because Verizon recently admitted that their 28 GHz and 39 GHz signals can transmit 2,000 to 3,000 feet from the source CPMRA-WTF antennas:

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A Message From Ben and Jerry

This message is from Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, but you probably know us better as Ben and Jerry, the ice cream guys.

Our country is in a sticky situation. And let us tell you, being in the ice cream business for 40 years now, we know sticky. And we know how to deal with it. The 2010 Supreme Court decision, Citizens United vs the Federal Election Commission, opened the floodgates to money in politics and was one of the most cone-headed Supreme Court decisions in American history.

You can see the corrosive effects in Donald Trump’s billionaires-only White House today — including the horrific tax scam, the nomination of corporate crony Brett Kavanaugh to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court, and, now, threats to kill off the Endangered Species Act so that oil and gas companies can rake in bigger profits.

Now, more than ever, it’s Big Money vs. the rest of us.

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Trump’s Multi-Pronged Attack on the Internet

By Susan Crawford, New York Times Op-Ed Contributor, April 17, 2017; Original article here.


S4WT Comment: Susan Crawford, a professor at Harvard Law School and the author of “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age." wrote this prescient article in 2017. The Trump FCC is nearly done with its industry-friendly/consumer-unfriendly agenda and the worst is before us right now: S.3157: The STREAMLINE Small Cell Deployment Act of 2018 — which is attempting to eliminate local control of public rights-of-way across the US. I can think few ideas — or legislation — that is more un-American.


If there’s one thing that brings Americans together, it’s our hatred of the giant companies that sell us high-speed internet data services.

Consumers routinely give these five giant Cable and Telecom companies —

  1. Comcast
  2. Charter (now Spectrum)
  3. AT&T
  4. Verizon
  5. CenturyLink

. . . basement-level scores for customer satisfaction. This collective resentment is fueled by the sense that we don’t have a choice when we sign up for their services.

By and large, we don’t.

These five companies account for over 80 percent of wired subscriptions and have almost total power in their territories. According to the Federal Communications Commission, nearly 75 percent of Americans have at most one choice for high-speed data.

2018 Net Inclusion Conference Keynote: Susan Crawford

Also view the Dividing Lines Documentary and Web Site

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Why Democrats Should Embrace Internet for All

Voters across the political spectrum believe Internet access is a right.

By Sean McElwee, Ganesh Sitaraman and Jon Green, August 1, 2018 | Original The Nation Article here

In 2017, the Tennessee state legislature passed a bill designed to expand Internet access in rural areas. At first glance, this might seem have seemed like an amazing display of public service. The challenge that Tennessee and other states face is real: 34 million Americans lack high-speed Internet access, according to a 2016 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Report. Forty percent of these Americans are in rural areas.

In reality, this was just a dressed-up corporate handout. The bill provided $45 million in subsidies for Comcast and AT&T to provide rural Internet access—and to make matters worse, the companies are only required to offer 10Mbps rates, hardly high-speed service.

But what if the government decided access to the Internet was a basic right, and that profit motives didn’t have to be a central part of the equation? As a new generation of politicians is asking whether it’s time for some new ideas, a public option for Internet access—call it “Internet for All”—might fit the bill. According to our research, it appeals to voters in both the deepest blue and the deepest red districts across the country.

And one Democratic primary candidate hopes it can propel him to the biggest surprise win in a Michigan primary since, well, the last time Michigan had a major Democratic primary.

The lack of access to high-speed Internet service is an underrated and serious problem in America. Not only does a significant part of the country lack such access, many more people don’t have a choice in their provider.

  • Almost 60 percent of neighborhoods (developed census blocks, in the FCC’s technical parlance) have either no high-speed Internet access or only one option.

  • Almost 90 percent of neighborhoods have no access at all to Internet speeds of 100 Mbps. Without competition, monopolies can jack up the prices while cutting back on service.

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Telcos Canceled Fiber to the Home and Created the Digital Divide

Adapted from an ARS Technica article by Jon Brodkin, 7/31/18 | Original article here

AT&T and Verizon have generally built fiber only where they face competition.

You already knew that home broadband competition is sorely lacking through much of the US. Much of this misery was created because our State Public Telecom Utilities (controlled by AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink and Frontier) failed us:

  • Since the mid-1990’s, these State Public Telecom Utilities collected tens of billions of dollars from landline customers for the express purpose of upgrading copper Wirelines to Fiber Optic Wirelines.

  • The parent/holding companies of these State Public Telecom Utilities — AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink and Frontier — pocketed the money, but never delivered the promised Fiber Optic service.

  • The parent/holding companies fraudulently transferred these funds from these State Public Telecom Utilities to their private Wireless subsidiaries to build out 4G/LTE.

  • This fraud has been well-documented at the FCC for decades, but the FCC functions as a branch office of AT&T and Verizon and the FCC aids and abets this fraud of the American people.

US Population Offered ISP Service by Telcos
(millions of people)

Telco ISP Total DSL Fiber % Fiber
AT&T 122.5 114.7 7.8 6%
Verizon 55.2 21.9 33.3 60%
CenturyLink 49.1 15.3 3.8 8%
Frontier 30 20 10 33%

The telcos have mostly avoided upgrading their copper networks to fiber —except in areas where they face competition from cable companies. These details are in "Profiles of Monopoly: Big Cable and Telecom," a report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). The full report is available at this link.

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Australia: Nationwide Class Action Suit over RF-EMR Hazards of 4G/5G Densification Scheme

by Darius Leszczynski and the Environment and Communities Safe from Radiation Assn. Inc. (ECSFR), July 30, 2018 | Original article here.

In the 1980’s, when the 1G mobile technology was commercialized, things were easy for the Telecom industry. Users of the expensive and cumbersome technology were few and, therefore, the number of those aware of the health hazards from pulsed, data-modulated, Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR) exposures was small. The knowledge about the biological and health effects of microwaves was available, but not many were aware of it.

Today, 40+ years later, with 4G/5G densification planning to be deployed on a massive scale, things are different. There is now a large number of users of the already existing 3G and 4G technology who are aware of the safety, privacy and property value hazards that 4G/5G densification brings to neighborhoods. The planned addition of 5G and IoT applications will make these numbers soar. Everyone will be forced to co-exist with 5G and the IoT, whether or not they are willing to be exposed 24/7 to the RF microwave radiation from these Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antenna – Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (CPMRA-WTFs).

The knowledge of the harms of RF-EMR energy emitted by the Wireless communication devices and infrastructure has increased over the 40 years. The WHO agency, IARC, classified in 2011 RF-EMR energy emitted by the 3G and 4G devices as a possible human carcinogen (Group 2B IARC classification). Since then, additional studies in humans (epidemiology) and in animals (toxicology) have indicated that this radiation energy should be classified as a human carcinogen (Group 1 classification).

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World’s First Big 5G Deal: Nokia and T-Mobile Agree to $3.5 Billion Contract

By Eric Auchard; July 30, 2018; Original article here.

Terms of the deal call for Nokia to supply a range of 5G hardware, software and services that will allow T-Mobile to capitalize on licensed airwave to deliver, broad coverage on 600 megahertz spectrum and ultra high-speed capacity on 28 gigahertz airwaves in densely trafficked urban areas.

T-Mobile US named Nokia to supply it with $3.5 billion in next-generation 5G network gear, the firms said on Monday, marking the world’s largest 5G deal so far and concrete evidence of a new wireless upgrade cycle taking root. No.3 U.S. mobile carrier T-Mobile — which in April agreed to a merger with Sprint to create a more formidable rival to U.S. telecom giants Verizon and AT&T — said the multi-year supply deal with Nokia will deliver the first nationwide 5G services.

The T-Mobile award is critical to Finland’s Nokia, whose results have been battered by years of slowing demand for existing 4G networks and mounting investor doubts over whether 5G contracts can begin to boost profitability later this year. 5G networks promise to deliver faster speeds for mobile phone users and make networks more responsive and reliable for the eventual development of new industrial automation, medical monitoring, driverless car and other business uses. But cash-strapped Telecom operators around the world have been gun-shy over committing to commercial upgrades of existing networks, with many seeing 5G technology simply as a way to deliver incremental capacity increases instead of new features.

  • Nokia will supply T-Mobile with its AirScale radio access platform along with cloud-connected hardware, software and acceleration services, they said in a statement.

  • The network equipment business, which is led by three big players — China’s Huawei HWT.UL, Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson (ERICb.ST) — has struggled with flagging growth since the current generation of 4G mobile equipment peaked in 2015.

Petaluma Sets Cell Phone Tower Policy

by Yousef Baig, July 27, 2018 | Original Argus Courier article here | Petaluma Municipal Code

2018-0716: Petaluma City Council Regulates So-Called “Small Cell” Cell Towers

As the demand for data and cell service increases, broadband providers are currently taking steps to boost the power of wireless signals by installing new cell towers and “small cell facilities” all over the country.

Rather than getting caught flat-footed, Petaluma officials recently took proactive measures to rework the telecommunications chapters of the municipal code, implementing zoning ordinances with strict regulations for when wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon try to expand in the city.

Last week, the city council enhanced a series of requirements approved by the planning commission earlier this year that amends the city’s guidelines for cellular equipment. Around Sonoma County, cities like Santa Rosa have been dealing with the fallout from construction of small cell facilities, which are various antennas that can be attached to utility poles and operate at high frequencies to deliver data faster.

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