FCC Chairman Pai is Making Lots of Enemies for Attempting to Force Densified 4G/5G on Americans

By JOHN HENDEL July 8, 2020 | Original Politico article here.

In moving to free up Wi-Fi and bolster superfast service, Pai has alienated some industries, congressional committees and Trump Cabinet leaders.


Ajit Pai

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai takes a drink from a mug during the commission vote on net neutrality in 2017. | AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

FCC chief Ajit Pai is angering a lot of powerful people as his chairmanship hits its fourth and potentially final year. The Pentagon, the Commerce Department and the Department of Transportation. Electric utilities, airlines and the auto industry. Public safety officials and weather forecasters. Top lawmakers of both parties, including an ally of President Donald Trump’s who controls the FCC’s purse strings on the Senate Appropriations Committee.And most of that is because of actions Pai has taken this year.

Every FCC chair makes decisions that draw criticism, from judging proposed mergers by broadcasters and cellphone companies to setting rules for net neutrality and robocalls. But the barbs coming Pai’s way have multiplied in recent months as he leads the commission in divvying up billions of dollars’ worth of wireless spectrum for a new generation of Wi-Fi and 5G wireless service — moves that are leaving a lengthening trail of winners and losers and putting Pai’s decision-making under the microscope.

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Microsoft Adds New Shared Background to Teams App

By Mary Jo Foley for All About Microsoft, July 8, 2020 | Original ZDNet article here.

Microsoft is adding a bunch of new features to Teams in the coming weeks and months, some of which are catching up with what’s in competitive services, and others of which are new and different.

Microsoft is outlining a slew of new features coming to Teams for work and school before the end of calendar 2020. The new features, which Microsoft disclosed via a blog post on July 8, are meant to make chats, meetings and other collaborations less tiring and more productive.

Some of these features are available already in Microsoft’s Skype service and others, in competitive services like Zoom and Slack. But some are new and different, like "Together Mode." Together Mode will allow participants to appear in a common, shared background. It’s designed to make participants feel like they’re in the same meeting room or classroom together.

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Big Wireless in the Wilderness?

The National Park Service is racing to expand cellphone service at parks nationwide. Do we really want a connected wilderness?

By CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM | June 25, 2020 | Original Sierra Club article here. ILLUSTRATIONS BY EUGENIA LOLI

In 2018, I went on a solo backpacking trip into the wild stone labyrinth of the Needles district in Canyonlands National Park. After three days among the canyons and hoodoos, happily not seeing another person, I crested a rise of slickrock overlooking the stunning basin-and-mesa country that reaches from Utah’s La Sal Mountains to the Abajo range. I had an iPhone with me, which I was using as a camera, and on a lark I decided to see if I could catch a signal. Sure enough, I could.

Like one of Pavlov’s dogs, I descended into the behavior that the sight and sound of my device always calls forth. Dutifully, I checked email, the weather, the headlines. When a flood of texts poured in, I felt a surge of satisfaction—that dopamine thrill of virtual connection.

I immediately regretted having turned on the phone. There was something idiotic in my tinkering with an electronic toy when all about me was a beauty and immensity that dwarfed the merely human. Three days of sweet calm and mental quiet faded in the light of the screen and, instantly, I was back in the frenetic informational overload we call civilization. I vowed to never again bring my phone on a backpacking trip. The temptation to look for a signal is too great, and the psychological cost— the loss of serenity and a sense of presence — is, for me, too high.

The parks were never intended to meet the expectations of every visitor . . . if the Park Service fails to protect the preservation values at the heart of its mission—and in the process fails to serve those visitors who seek the beauty and complexity of life on Earth untrammeled by industrial civilization — the parks will be no different than surrounding landscapes. And thereby they will lose all their special meaning.

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Trump Weighs $1 Trillion for Infrastructure to Spur Economy

By Jenny Leonard and Josh Wingrove, June 16, 2020 | Original Bloomberg article here.

  • Push comes with current funding law set to expire on Sept. 30
  • Democrats unveiled their own $500 billion proposal this month

$1 Trillion for Infrastructure to Spur Economy

The Trump administration is preparing a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure proposal as part of its push to spur the world’s largest economy back to life, according to people familiar with the plan. A preliminary version being prepared by the Department of Transportation would reserve most of the money for traditional infrastructure work, like roads and bridges, but would also set aside funds for 5G wireless infrastructure and rural broadband, the people said.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to discuss rural broadband access at a White House event on Thursday. An existing U.S. infrastructure funding law is up for renewal by Sept. 30, and the administration sees that as a possible vehicle to push through a broader package, the people said. They asked not to be identified because the Trump proposal isn’t final and hasn’t been announced.

The news buoyed U.S. stock futures early Tuesday, including for companies that may benefit from a burst of new public spending. Fluor Corp. surged 11% before regular U.S. trading, while Vulcan Materials Co. climbed 8.3%.

The draft plan is emerging as lawmakers from both parties and Trump debate the timing and scope of more stimulus for a U.S. economy plunged into recession by nationwide lock-downs needed to halt the spread of coronavirus. It’s the latest sign of momentum in Washington for some kind of infrastructure spending blitz ahead of the election.

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24 Democrats Urge FCC to Delay Vote on WT-Docket 19-250

. . . to Allow Local Governments Adequate Time to Respond to Wireless Equipment Rule Changes, Amid COVID-19 Response

 

Re: WT Docket No. 19-250: FCC Implementation of State and Local Governments’ Obligation to Approve Certain Wireless Facility Modification Requests Under Section 6409(a) of the Spectrum Act of 2012

June 2, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Twenty-four Democratic Members of the Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter today to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai urging him to delay a vote on a Declaratory Ruling that would limit local governments‘ role in the deployment of wireless infrastructure. The Declaratory Ruling would grant companies the right to expand existing cell sites without any regard to local processes and potential conflicting priorities, which would be especially harmful right now given the ongoing challenges that local governments face due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The FCC is currently scheduled to vote on the Declaratory Ruling on June 9.

The Members wrote:

“We are especially troubled by the burden responding to this Declaratory Ruling will place on local governments that are rightfully focused right now on combatting the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Likewise, we worry that if this Declaratory Ruling does not benefit from meaningful input from local governments, the result could undermine municipalities’ ability to balance their responsibilities to public safety and community design with their desire to ensure access to affordable wireless networks and the next generation services.”

This letter follows an April request by Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and other House Committee Chairs calling for immediately extending public comment deadlines across the federal government in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Members continued:

“We believe such a delay is further warranted as local public servants and elected officials are filling the void left by their federal counterparts. These local officials cannot be expected to conduct a meaningful review and respond to an item of this nature within the very limited time provided by the FCC. If local governments are forced to respond to this Declaratory Ruling instead of focusing on their public health and safety responses, it very well may put Americans health and safety at risk.”

The letter was signed by Pallone, Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Rep Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX), Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-VA), Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL).

To read the letter, click HERE.

FCC Issues Draft Order Attempting to Game Wireless Streamlining Rules

Adapted from an article by T. Scott Thompson andJohn C. Nelson Jr., May 22, 2020 | Original article here.

On May 19, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) released a draft Declaratory Ruling and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking clarifying certain aspects of its rules governing the deployment of wireless equipment on existing telecommunications infrastructure. The draft Declaratory Ruling provides important clarification regarding the Commission’s Rules governing collocations and modifications of existing installations in response to attempted evasions by local governments.

Scheduled for a vote at the FCC’s June meeting, the Commission’s action would clarify:

  • When the 60-day shot clock commences for a locality’s review of modifications under Section 6409 of the Spectrum Act of 2012 (codified at 47 U.S.C. § 1455);

S4WT Comment: Of course, In 47 U.S.C. § 1455(a) In General. — the part that does not deal with Federal easements, rights-of-way and leases — is a very short addition to Telecom Law, which simply does not include shot clocks, at all. All FCC shot clocks are a figment of the FCC’s imagination which are inconsistent with the intent of the 1996 Telecommunications Act (1996-TCA) and therefore ultra vires (i.e. outside the law). Also, wireless companies cannot skirt environmental review for any "Eligible facilities request" modifications.

1996-TCA Conference Report:

"Under subsection (c)(7)(B)(ii), decisions are to be rendered in a reasonable period of time, taking into account the nature and scope of each request. If a request for placement of a personal wireless service facility involves a zoning variance or a public hearing or comment process, the time period for rendering a decision will be the usual period under such circumstances. It is not the intent of this provision to give preferential treatment to the personal wireless service industry in the processing of requests, or to subject their requests to any but the generally applicable time frames for zoning decision."

47 U.S.C. § 1455

" (3) Applicability of environmental laws: Nothing in paragraph (1) shall be construed to relieve the Commission from the requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act [1] or the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969."

FCC Attorney Erica Rosenberg in 2020

"Every single Wireless Telecommunications Facility (WTF) must undergo NEPA review."


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Two Arizona Companies Combine to Bring 5G Tech Collaboration

By Jeff Gifford, May 19, 2020 | – Original Phoenix Business Journal article here.

A pair of Tucson companies that have merged are developing a 5G antenna that promises range and flexibility surpassing current market options but using less power and taking less space.

  • University of Arizona Tucson, AZ; See full profile

  • A pair of Tucson companies that have merged are developing a 5G antenna that promises range and flexibility surpassing current market options but using less power and taking less space.

Two Arizona companies are combining into one with an aim to bring their collaborative technological innovation into the rapidly growing 5G market.

FreeFall 5G brings together antenna systems maker FreeFall Aerospace with ED2 Corp., which builds telecommunications hardware and specializes in 5G. The Tucson companies already had worked together since 2018, with ED2 implementing a FreeFall antenna concept last year.

The combined company will continue developing that system — a 5G antenna that promises range and flexibility surpassing current market options but using less power and taking less space — with plans to unveil it this summer.

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FCC Extends Comment Date on FCC Order 19-226 By Two Weeks

DA 20-521

Released: May 15, 2020 → here.

OFFICE OF ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY EXTENDS COMMENT AND REPLY COMMENT DEADLINES FOR HUMAN EXPOSURE TO RADIOFREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS PROCEEDING

ET Docket No. 19-226

 

  • Revised Comment Date: June 17, 2020

  • Revised Reply Comment Date: July 20, 2020

The Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) extends the comment and reply comment deadlines on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Targeted Changes to the Commission’s Rules Regarding Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields, released on December 4, 2019 (NPRM)1. Currently, the comment due date is June 3, 2020 and the reply comment due date is July 6, 20202.

On May 11, 2020, Momentum Dynamics Corporation sought a 45-day extension of the comment and reply comment filing dates to perform testing in support of comments in the midst of the disruptions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic3. On May 14, 2020, GuRu Wireless, Inc. expressed opposition to this motion, noting that the comment period for this proceeding has already been delayed and that supplemental information could be filed after the comment period through ex parte submission4.

It is the general policy of the Commission that extensions of time shall not be routinely granted5. Under the circumstances presented, we conclude that a 14-day extension of the comment and reply comment deadlines is warranted to address the concerns raised about conducting testing and allow for a better developed record in this proceeding.

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COVID-19 After-Effects Can Linger for Weeks

— Even patients with mild cases describe persistent fatigue, trouble breathing, cardiac issues

By Amanda D’Ambrosio, May 13, 2020 | Original Medpage article here.

A tired and miserable looking man lying in bed with his hand on his forehead

When he developed a low fever at the end of March, Jarett DeSanti did not think it was related to COVID-19. But as his fever persisted, his body weakened, and cases continued to emerge in New York, DeSanti’s doctor insisted he get tested. DeSanti, a 35-year-old security officer from Brentwood, New York, tested positive for COVID-19 on March 27, and his moderate illness, doctors said, could be managed at home.

In the following days, his fever worsened, climbing to 102 °F. He had nausea and other gastrointestinal symptoms. On day 10, he got a chest x-ray confirming pneumonia. He lost his sense of smell, and couldn’t sleep. When the fever broke on day 13, his body started to recover. DeSanti tested positive for antibodies, and planned to donate plasma at his local hospital.

But 47 days after first testing positive for COVID-19, his symptoms have yet to completely subside. He still suffers weakness, a daily low-grade fever, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, and the constant anxiety that his illness will worsen yet again.

DeSanti said.

"If one little thing is changing in your body one day … all of a sudden, the anxiety goes through the roof," "This is the toughest and scariest thing I’ve ever dealt with in my life."

Continue reading “COVID-19 After-Effects Can Linger for Weeks”

Something Foul in the Air

Adapted from an article by Kaitlyn Tiffany, May 13, 2020 | Original The Atlantic article here.

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The coronavirus pandemic is sparking some interesting theories about the dangers of Densfied 4G/5G cell towers installed close to homes. The facts that wireless technology is slowly damaging us isn’t news — because the hazards of pulsed, data-modulated, Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR) exposures are based on established science.

In the 1970s, a bogeyman was power lines. Low-frequency electromagnetic fields were emanating from them all the time within a few hundred feet of high-voltage lines, and a shocking 1979 study suggested that children who developed cancer lived near power lines.” This study was sufficient to win the appeal of the law suit that led to the cancellation of a major powerline project planned for upstate New York.

Around the same time, knowledge about wireless radiation from radio and television infrastructure antennas and microwave ovens in homes as a possible human health problem gained traction. Later, established science proved that some household appliances, such as electric hair dryers and electric blankets created hazardous electric and magnetic fields, while in use.

Now the advance of cellphones and, more recently, the new high-speed wireless networks built to serve them have given rise to a number of people who have done significant research into the history of the US RF-EMR exposure guideline and understand that the guideline does, in the words of microwave weapons-expert Barrie Trower:

[provide] no protection against the electric and magnetic vectors.

"Between 1949 and 1962, everything we needed to know about microwaves was known and published . . . the brain at that time had been studied for brainwaves and microwaves could be used to penetrate the brain and cause behavioral changes.”

“A statement was made in 1962 by the governments that birth defects, organs, whole organisms, cells, brain function, emotions, moods could be altered, changed and destroyed [by microwave exposures].”

“Microwaves then, as now, were used as stealth weapons, before they became cell phones [and Wi-Fi].”

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