Manhole Covers Can Serve as 4G and 5G Antennas

Manhole antenna solution offers glimpse into 5G strategies for signal propagation

By Dexter Johnson, Dec 18, 2018 | Original IEEE Spectrum article here.

The inconvenient truth of future 5G networks is that their increased high-speed bandwidth, and the use of the millimeter wave spectrum (the radio spectrum above 30 gigahertz) to achieve it, comes at a price: Those radio signals barely propagate around the corners of buildings.

S4WT Comment: Really? Then why does Verizon claim that their 28 GHz and 39 GHz 5G radio signals go 2,000 to 3,000 feet, even through foliage? Who is not telling the truth?

Verizon: Millimeter Waves Go 3,000 Feet

To overcome this issue, the strategy has been a combination of small cells with massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antennas to increase coverage. Small cell deployment will be so extensive that the Small Cell Forum predicts 5G small cell will overtake 4G small cells by 2024. The Forum predicts that total installed base of 5G or multimode small cells will reach 13.1 million by 2025, constituting more than one-third of the total small cells in use.

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FCC Commissioner O’Rielly Keeps On Going

. . . Claiming, With Zero Evidence, That Community Broadband Is An Ominous Threat To Free Speech

by Karl Bode, Dec 17, 2018 | Original Tech Dirt article here.

. . . from the Misdirection Department . . .

So back in October, we noted how FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly attended an event where he falsely claimed that towns and cities that decide to build their own broadband networks (usually due to market failure) were somehow engaged in an "ominous" assault on free speech. The only "evidence" O’Rielly provided was that community ISPs include language in their terms of service preventing users from being hateful shits online, the same exact language you’ll find in the terms-of-service from any number of private ISPs, from Comcast to AT&T.

There’s absolutely no evidence that any of the 750 towns and cities that have tinkered with this idea ever trampled anybody’s free speech rights.

Yet after being criticized by several press outlets (including this one), O’Rielly apparently decided his best bet would be to . . . double down on his false claims.

In a new blog post over at the FCC website, O’Rielly again tries to insist that community broadband is a giant threat to free speech, but this time he attempts to vastly expand his argument in a bid to make it sound more logical. The tap dancing around his lack of evidence in his original claim is particularly amusing:

Bizarrely, my critics further responded that I had failed to provide historical “evidence” of First Amendment mischief by muni networks. Perhaps they were confused about how a constitutional violation works. A state action or law can violate the First Amendment as applied or on its face. In the case of the latter, the law or act is always unconstitutional, and in the case of the former, it is only unconstitutional to the extent of a particular application. My argument was not based on as-applied historical instances of censorship, but on facial grounds. That is, certain terms in the muni broadband codes I cited facially violate the First Amendment.

That’s a misdirection and a dodge, though putting evidence in quotes is a nice touch.

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American Telecom is Mired in a Toxic Swamp

by Bruce Kushnick, Dec 17, 2018 | Original Medium article here



Some of the most hated companies in America are the ISPs, wireless and cable companies, which include AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and Charter (Spectrum). However, in 2018, America also has the distinction of having the most expensive, excessive wireless gigabyte prices in the world. In fact, with the made-up fees and surcharges (that are revenues to the companies or taxes on the companies that are passed through to you) the price of almost all communications services in America continues to rise, even though the FCC claims that there is competition.

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Investigate FCC Accounting Rule Scandal Before Rules Get Erased

by Bruce Kushnick, May 31, 2017 | Original Huffington Post article here

The following images is a snapshot of the FCC’s Big Freeze Accounting Scandal.


NOTE: On May 24th, 2017, the IRREGULATORS filed comments with the FCC and the Federal-State Joint Board on Jurisdictional Separations to investigate the current FCC accounting scandal. Click for the complete filing or read the summary below.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s agenda as told by an interview with Re/Code, May 5th, 2017, is to use a weed-whacker to remove the accounting rules.


“In the early days, you had said that you wanted to take a weed-whacker to remove the rules that are holding back investment. What did you mean by that?

Ajit Pai:

“What I had in mind were some of the regulations that we’ve had on the books for a while that stand in the way of investment in networks. Our Part 32 accounting rules — exceedingly boring, I recognize — but just the fact that companies have to maintain two different sets of books, literally one for their business and one for the FCC’s purposes, and the FCC hadn’t relied on any of that paperwork in years. I asked our staff, ‘When was the last time you looked at these reports?’ They said, ‘Pretty much never.’ We wanted to relieve some of those. Those are the kinds of regulations I had in mind because I want every dollar that a company has to be spent on building out networks, not on paperwork or regulatory requirements that aren’t relevant in 2017, whatever relevance they might’ve had back in 1934 or 1996 or 2015 or whatever.” (Emphasis added.)

In fact, the FCC is wasting no time in whacking those weeds, as there have been at least four separate proceedings, two ongoing, to erase any remaining FCC rules or obligations on the companies, AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink, who control the state utilities as well as the essential infrastructure for wireless.

And then there is the FCC’s “Big Freeze” scandal.

Above is a snapshot of how the FCC’s negligence (failing to examine the impacts of its own rules, “pretty much never”) has caused multiple financial harms. In 2001, the FCC imposed rules and then never examined their impacts for over 16 years.

This created a massive financial shell game that has overcharged customers billions per state.

  • The top blue line is flat and shows that from 2003 to 2014, Verizon NY’s local service networks paid the majority, about 60%, of the total “Corporate Operations” expenses (i.e.; expenses for the corporate jet fleet or even the lobbyists and the lawyers that defend removing net neutrality, for example).

  • Based on local service revenues, (the pink line), which has been in decline, over $840 million was overcharged in just one year, 2014. The same thing has been happening in every state for over a decade. We will discuss this chart in a moment.

The FCC’s plan is not to fix the impacts that its misguided federal regulations have had on customers or cities or states, but to erase and therefore immortalize the overcharging and harms, while having the government help and protect the incumbent phone companies that control the wires: Verizon, AT&T and CenturyLink.

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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.

View of AT&T/Crown Castle Cell Tower from the hospital parking lot.
View of AT&T/Crown Castle Cell Tower from the bedroom of 565 Petaluma Ave., Unit 370– a third floor unit.

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Small American Town Rejects Comcast Broadband

. . . While the FCC and AT&T claim everything is hunky dory

By Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco Dec 12, 2018 | Original article from The Register is here.

Just how much do you hate Comcast? Enough to spend $1 million of your own money to escape its clutches?

That was the question facing the small town of Charlemont, Massachusetts, which boasts just 1,300 residents and which, back in 2015, decided it wanted to install its own municipal broadband fiber network. Fast forward three years and lots of research and financial modeling, and the townsfolk were given a choice: take an offer from Comcast to rollout broadband and pay $450,000 for fast internet access, or build out a network themselves and pay more $1 million more.

Amazingly, the town voted – narrowly – in favor of raising their own taxes and pay for their own fiber network. Why? Well, aside from the fact that Comcast only promised to offer coverage of "up to 95 per cent" of their inhabitants, when the municipal broadband plan would offer blanket coverage, there was the fact that the town’s broadband committee calculated that the municipal option may end up being less expensive.

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American ISPs Tell the FCC That Poor People Should Get Slower Internet Speeds

By Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco, Dec 11, 2018 | Original article from The Register here.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should be paid to provide slower internet speeds to poor people. That’s the extraordinary upshot of a meeting between an ISP industry group and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US.

In a letter recording a meeting between the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) and the legal advisors to two FCC commissioners, the industry group "emphasized that the Commission’s goals would be better served by directing support to areas that lack any service at all and those that have access only below 10 Mbps down/1 Mbps up."

The current definition of broadband is 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up. That was introduced in 2015 and replaced an older, outdated definition of 10Mbps down and 1Mbps up. But in order to meet its own broadband rollout targets, the current FCC has been trying to find ways to lower the 25/3 Mbps requirement.

  • It initially launched an effort to backtrack from the current definition by equating mobile and fixed broadband’

  • Then it tried to redefine broadband as the average speed used by consumers in specific areas.

  • That fudge failed after an outcry.

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Google CEO Pichai Testifies in House

Dec 11, 2018: Google CEO Sundar Pichai Testifies In Front of House Judiciary Committee
  • Link to Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) Opens meeting
  • Link to Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) Opening Statement
  • Link to Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) Opening Statement
  • Link to Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Opening Statement
  • Link to Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, Opening Statement
  • Link to Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) Questions
  • Link to Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Questions
  • Link to Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) Questions
  • Link to Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) Questions
  • Link to Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) Questions
  • Link to Rep. Jackson Lee (D-TX) Questions
  • Link to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) Questions
  • Link to Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) Questions
  • Link to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) Questions
  • Link to Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) Questions
  • more to follow later . . .