Legacy Landlines are Far Superior to VoIP phone lines
AT&T’s May/June written notice to AT&T landline customers about AT&T’s plan to switch customers from Title-II-regulated Legacy Copper Phone-Switched Landline Phone Services to unregulated Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Phone Services is misleading. No one has to switch, as clarified here, so don’t switch, if you don’t want to.
The following CPUC Blog Post attempts to clarify things (emphases are mine):
Included in AT&T customer bills in May was a notice of changes to AT&T’s Residential Service Agreement. In response to the many questions raised with the CPUC’s Consumer Affairs Branch by AT&T customers, the CPUC is directing the company to send a clarifying notification.
This clarifying message is being sent to assure that all customers are fully informed and aware that changes to the Residential Service Agreement do not impact their underlying telephone service. The prices, service descriptions, and other terms and conditions of an AT&T customer’s telephone service will remain the same in California.
Future upgrades to AT&T’s network may require the company to install new equipment outside a customer’s home in order for telephone service to continue to work. If AT&T upgrades its network in a customer’s area, the company will provide additional notice and make an appointment with the customer, if needed. However, AT&T’s obligation to offer basic telephone service in California is not affected by any potential network upgrades.
Legacy copper, phone-switched landline phone services have benefits that Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service, such as U-Verse and Wireless phone service do not offer:
Only landline phone works even during an extended power outage. VoIP phone modems depend on short-lived batteries, if present at all, which provide only limited-time use during an extended power outage.
Only landline 911 calls auto-verify the address if the caller cannot speak — such as after suffering a stroke.
The Governor of Florida has recently encourage all FL residents to maintain a landline phone for reliable emergency communications during floods, hurricanes or other natural disasters.
Will the CPUC Make AT&T Send Out a Correction Notice?
They are considering it. At least that is what I have heard from California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Manager of Manager of LA Consumer Affairs, Juanita Lane.
The $64,000,000 question is when? Will the CPUC require AT&T to correct their deceptive/confusing notice before the artificial July 1, 2017 deadline threatened by AT&T? Not likely.
Unfortunately, the CPUC is much like the FCC: they are both captured agencies, which means that these government agencies are dominated by the industries they presumably regulate. The CPUC often acts more like a branch of AT&T than as a defender CA residents’ rights or as an enforcer of CA telecommunications laws.
One large problem is that AT&T and Verizon for many years have each collected taxes/fees from customers’ landline bills for the express purpose of upgrading the legacy copper, phone-switched landline to fiber-to-the-home. Unfortunately, they never carried out that promise. Instead, these firms fraudulently transferred this money from their Title II, regulated wireline divisions to their unregulated Wireless divisions. That’s right Grandma’s landline phone bill financed the build out of 4G/LTE Wireless. The vast majority of fiber-optic cables go to cell phone towers instead of to customers’ homes.
Most utility poles and light poles and many non-pole structures in the public right of way will become cell towers under Senate Bill 649 (SB/649). The Bill strips municipal governments of decision-making power.
Spaced approximately every ten homes, cell antennas will hang in one or more clusters on utility, light poles, traffic lights and other municipal structures. Equipment cabinets the size of refrigerators, with cooling fans and back-up generators, will sit on sidewalks next to each antenna. Towers will be located in the public right of way a few feet from bedroom windows, offices, schools, hospitals and nursing homes.
The public paid for America’s sturdy, reliable and essential copperline landline infrastructure through rates and tax-subsidized incentive programs, but AT&T wants to eliminate copperline service. Most Californians don’t know this.
“Dependable” is not in vogue, and AT&T no longer wants to service this system. It claims it must make way for new technology, and that this service is no longer essential or economical for them to continue, despite AT&T’s huge profit last year.
Tell that to Californians who live in rural areas, are older, have medical devices, are disabled, or are low income. They rely on this service. “Traditional landline phone service remains the backbone and only reliable two-way communication mode,” says the Rural County Representatives of California.
SB.649 would dramatically increase California residents’ exposures to pulsed, Radio-Frequency Microwave Radiation (‘RF/MW radiation’) in their neighborhoods 24/7. Over 110 California Cities entered their formal opposition to SB.649 into the public record before the Senate vote.
05/31/17 SB.649: Read third time. Passed. (Ayes 32. Noes 1.) Ordered to the Assembly. Senator Glazer was the sole No vote. The following Senators did not vote: Allen, Beall, Jackson, Monning, Newman, Portantino and Wiecowkski.
Sacramento, CA, June 1, 2017 — At the tail-end of a 8 1/2-hour Senate session (View 5/31/17 Senate Floor Session from 8:31:52 to the end), the California Senate passed SB.649, a highly contentious Bill that would allow deployment of powerful two-way microwave transmitters on virtually every streetlight, utility pole and other non-pole structure in the public right of way throughout California neighborhoods. The microwave transmitters would be deployed as close as 10-15 feet from second-story windows and would forcibly expose the inhabitants to a never-ending stream of RF/MW radiation 24/7/365. This deployment would violate the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act. State legislation cannot legally force 1.2+ million Californians out of their homes. SB.649 is destined to pit California cities and counties against the State and, if passed as is, is destined for court, just as in the State of Ohio: 80+ cities in Ohio are suing the State of Ohio over a very similar bill.
4/26/17 Mark Graham Testimony to the CA Senate the Governance and Finance Committee
Good morning, Senators. My name is Mark Graham and I represent Scientists for Wired Technology. In the Science marches across the country this past weekend one sign read, “At the start of every disaster movie is a scientist being ignored.”
SB649 is a disaster movie. It would bring cell phone tower antennas from where they are currently placed, 200 feet in the air and thousands of feet away from homes, to only 20 feet in the air and 20 feet from homes – 2nd story bedroom windows.
Please . . . don’t ignore . . . our best scientists. This will create a public health nightmare with a wide range of short term and long term health impacts.
19 “Small Cell” 4G Antennas with Faux-Mailbox Power Supplies in Palo Alto, CA
The following is a link to the planning documents for a high-density 4G Distributed Antenna System (DAS) in Palo Alto: 19 so-called “small Cell” antennas installed in high-density fashion in a 3 block x 6 block area. These antennas and their faux-maibox power supply cabinets were deployed on Palo Alto sidewalks by Crown Castle on behalf of Verizon. Construction was completed and the antennas were powered-on in November, 2016.
On 4/21/17, we completed measurements of Radio-Frequency Microwave Radiation (RF/MW radiation) on the sidewalks beneath and near these DAS antennas using a professionally-certified RF/MW radiation meter. The results show that these antennas are forcibly exposing Palo Alto residents, workers and visitors to hazardous levels of RF/MW radiation 24/7/365. Our RF/MW radiation measurements, unbelievably, are the only actual RF/MW radiation measurements ever completed for this project.
Testimony by Scientists for Wired Technology during the 4/4/17 Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee Hearing regarding SB.649 Wireless Telecommunications Facilities
Today, I will be entering substantial scientific evidence into the public record in my testimony. I have read and quantitatively evaluated many peer reviewed Supreme Court Daubert-rule-admissible, scientific studies that conclude direct damages to humans and other living organisms from pulsed, radiofrequency microwave radiation, RFR for short.
I am not speaking about issues of concern, worry or risk, but about established biological hazards from RFR exposures. I attest and affirm my statements are true, accurate and within my personal knowledge.
The four studies I will introduce today supplement over 100 studies about adverse bio-effects from RFR exposures many times lower than current Federal RFR guidelines — studies that we entered into the public record in July 2015 in opposition to Assembly Bill 57 as one can view on Youtube here and here. House AB-57 is very similar to today’s bill, Senate Bill-649; both bills were co-authored by the same CA Assembly Member, Bill Quirk.
Part 1: Testimony Against CA Assembly Bill 57 (the Wireless Telecommunications Facilities Shot Clock Bill)
Part 2: Testimony Against CA Assembly Bill 57 (the Wireless Telecommunications Facilities Shot Clock Bill)
SB.649: A CA State Bill Attempting to put Lipstick on a Pig
Senate Bill 649 is a proposed law (mostly written by AT&T, Verizon and the lobbying group, CTIA), to allow bulky and large cell phone equipment sites nearly anywhere — including refrigerator-sized electrical supply cabinets on streets and sidewalks in front of homes. SB.649 is a bad bill; it cannot be corrected by any clever amendments. Urge your CA State Senators to vote NO on SB.649. Californians deserve much better: One Big Dig — fiber optic cables buried in the ground to every business, home school and farm. Doing so makes all of the equipment shown below unnecessary.
These are the large electrical supply cabinets that SB.649 would allow to be placed on the sidewalk directly in front of your home. The various cabinets are for equipment and that can pollute your neighborhood with 24/7 noise and can leak toxic chemicals. The cabinets contain all kinds of electrical equipment, burning energy 24/7/365 to support the broadcasting of Radio-Frequency Microwave Radiation (RF/MW radiation) directly into your bedrooms 24/7/365, forcing residents to endure the following:
24/7/365 exposure to hazardous RF/MW radiation: proven by our Federal government’s $25 million 16-year study to cause cancer and DNA damage
RF/MW radiation exposure also causes sleep problems, headaches and suppression of melatonin, a hormone critical for preventing cancer
Noisy cooling fans
Strong electric and magnetic fields from this equipment
Lots of Electrical waste (high frequency voltage transients) dumped back onto the electrical lines which flows directly into your homes
You will have to endure the presence of all of above (and your local government will have no say authority to say “NO”, if SB.649 passes. SB.649 guts local authority to prevent the abomination shown in this photo and is taxpayer giveaway to Wireless Carriers, the large campaign contributors or our legislators. Please read a recent article by Susan Crawford: Handcuffing Cities to Help Telecom Giants. Continue reading “Oppose CA SB.649: Wireless Telecommunications Bill”