Partial Victory in Encinitas for 4G/5G Opponents

Adapted from an article by R. Vincent, Dec 3, 2019 | Original 5G Technology News article here.

Recently, the Encinitas, California City Council voted to impose restrictions on the placement of controversial densified 4G and 5G wireless network antennas within its city limits. The move comes in response to protests by some residents who are knowledgeable, about the negative health consequences of the macro-tower-class high wireless antennas on so-called "small" cells. The council’s vote represented a partial victory for Stop 5G Encinitas supporters (thanks to the outstanding community outreach), who have been lobbying heavily to prevent further construction of densified 4G and 5G Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) — but its members had hoped for much more.

A scenic seaside suburb just north of San Diego, Encinitas has a history of citizen-led initiatives that often butt heads with federal, state, or local mandates. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued two Orders (FCC 18-111 in August 2018 and FCC 18-133 in September 2018) which attempts to preempt local governments’ authority over the public rights-of-way to clear the way form densified 4G/5G instllations by repealing regulatory barriers that would impede its roll out. The Encinitas City Council complied with an “urgency” vote that would have accelerated 5G construction in the city, but Stop 5G Encinitas wasn’t having it.


Opponents of the Densified 4G/5G cell towers point our significant harms, including the unsightly nature of the towers – which are typically installed on utility poles every 100 yards or so – and the well-documented facts that the cell towers installed near homes reduces home values. But at the forefront of the controversy are preserving the quiet enjoyment of streets, which includes preventing noise, safety problems and negative health consequences.

4G + 5G technology is required for the fastest data rates —

  • always-on 4G frequencies (700 MHz to 2,100 MHz) are the surveillance bands, tracking wireless devices (and people inside their homes) 24/7,
  • 5G frequencies (600 MHz to 90,000 MHz) are intermittent and send large data payloads to its target at high data speeds, once the target has been located by 4G frequencies

Some 5G data transmissions uses millimeter-waves (those from 30,000 MHz to 90,000 MHz, in the US, at this time), which produces radiation at a much higher peak to average Effective Radiated Power than previous mobile communication networks. Opposition groups cite peer-reviewed evidence by scientists worldwide that both immediate and long-term exposures to pulsed, data-modulated, Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR) of any G are harmful. Therefore, Encinitas residents want to have a say in whether or not such antennas are installed in their own communities.

Stop 5G Encinitas

According to the Stop 5G Encinitas website, a $30 million study (concluded in 2018) by the US National Institutes of Environmental Health Science (a division of the National Institutes of Health) showed clear evidence that exposure to cellular phone radiation results in increased cancer occurrence, DNA damage and cardio myopathy. The study revealed a higher instance of brain and heart cancer cells in male rats exposed to GSM and CDMA cell phone frequencies over the course of the study. Furthermore, the website says that the World Health Organization has classified RF-EMR exposures from as a Group 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogenic) and is preparing right now to increase that classification to a Group 1 carcinogen (carcinogenic to humans).


In all, the group’s lawyer requested 26 amendments to Encinitas’ 5G policy, but the city adopted only three of the amendments. In a unanimous vote, the City Council barred construction of 4G/5G so-called "Small" Cell antennas, also known as Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas (CPMRAs) in residential areas and parks, areas with high risk of fire, and within 500 feet of any primary school or daycare. Telecommunications providers can seek an exemption to these restrictions from the city planner, but any decision can be appealed to the council.

The Fight Continues

Although opponents of Densified 4G and 5G in Encinitas think that the City Council’s decision has them moved in the right direction, many would like to see more happen. Several members of Stop 5G Encinitas want Densified 4G and 5G antennas that have already been installed taken down until more is understood about their role in causing negative health consequences. Others want the barring of antennas near schools to be extended to middle schools and high schools, as well. The group vows to keep fighting.