CA Assembly SB-649 June 28 Testimony

View the video of the 6/28/17 Local Government Hearing
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  • A. Key Testimony From Verizon and AT&T Executives:

    Rudy Reyes, Verizon @ 2:36:20:

    A cell tower might give you five to ten miles radius of coverage, but the small cells for 4G/LTE densification goes a few blocks . . . for 5G, the spectrum is going to be millimeter wave spectrum. That spectrum goes much shorter distances, maybe 100 feet and requires a line of sight . . . we are going to need about five to ten times the number of 5G nodes, as we will 4G/LTE nodes . . . so it is really about p times q, price times quantity. So this cost formula needs to pencil out in order to bring 5G to California . . . just for downtown LA, Verizon alone is going to need 200 to 300 small cells just to densify for 4G/LTE. Then you have to multiply that for five to ten times for when we get to 5G.

    This means 1,000 to 3,000 5G small cells in downtown LA, which according to Dr. Google is 4.75 square miles. This would spread 300 4G Small cells + 3,000 5G Small Cells over 4.75 square miles for Verizon alone. If each major Wireless Carrier does the same (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile), that’s 3300 x 4 = 13,200 small cells in roughly an area 11,500 feet by 11,500 feet or one small cell for every 10,000 square feet – understanding that an average Safeway is 50,000 square feet

    Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas @ 2:39:18:

    With respect to the liability associated with potential either health impacts or some other safety impacts, does that rest with the Companies or does that shift to the Cities, if we make this a ministerial permit instead of a discretionary permit.

    Senator Hueso @ 2:40:02:

    There is nothing precluding the local municipal agency from enforcing all building code requirements. Public safety is extremely important. This doesn’t exempt the industry from following the building code requirements. They are still in place, they must be followed . . . They have to conform to the codes that are imposed by the US standards.

    Hueso didn’t answer the question.

    Bill Devine, AT&T @ 2:40:38:

    May I add an additional comment . . . on page 4, line 38 of the Bill, ‘Small Cells must apply with all applicable Federal State and local health and safety regulations including the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.’ So it reinforces that in the Bill and that was an amendment that was added in the Senate

    Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas @ 2:41:04:
    And Liability would rest with the Telecomm Carrier.

    Bill Devine, AT&T @ 2:41:08:

    With the company.

    Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas @ 2:41:31:

    The issue with community facilities and safety is not, in my opinion, one that has received as much attention as I’d like in this bill. I read the fire piece a couple of times and it said [not] on a fire department building, does that at all extend that concern into schools, in any sense? . . . Land use goes to the local jurisdiction, even at local schools.

    Hueso @ 2:42:35:

    In the public right of way, there is nothing stopping; if there is a vertical pole within the public right of way of a fire station, there is nothing that preempts [a small cell] from being sited there.

    Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas @ 2:41:04:

    For me, that would be an on-going concern if this bill moves forward.It would be schools and fire facilities.

    Senator Hueso @ 2:44:35:

    Not all cities oppose this bill, not even a majority of the cities. It’s a very high number. It’s like 197, but it’s not a majority — there are over 400 cities [in California].

    Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas @ 2:41:31:

    Understood. All of the cities in the jurisdiction I represent do not support this bill and the county which is the largest in the state does not support this measure.

    B. Fair Treatment at 6/28/17 Local Government Hearing For Proponents and Opponents of SB.649?

    The 60 minutes for testimony on 6/28/17 was apportioned fairly (30 minutes for Support, 30 minutes for Opposition), but the 100+ minutes of discussion among/questions from of the Assembly Local Government Committee (from 1:24:45 to 3:05:55) was not apportioned fairly. Virtually all of the post-testimony discussion was with SB.649 Supporters: Bill Author Ben Hueso and Industry representatives from AT&T, Verizon and the CTIA — the Wireless Association. There was not a single follow up question from the members of the Assembly Local Government Committee about the unconstitutional consequences of SB.649 resulting from placing so-called Small Cell antennas in residential zones.

    On 6/27/17 after 5:00 pm, we received confirmation from the California Assembly regarding a second accommodation from the California Legislature (the first was on 5/15/17 at the Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing) for Electromagnetically Sensitive (EMS) California residents to speak to their government face-to-face. We used this accommodation to secure a time-certain start (2:00 pm), a directive by the chair for everyone in the hearing room to turn off the wireless antennas on their wireless devices and a metering of the peak Radio-Frequency Microwave Radiation (RF/MW radiation) levels at the testimony table in the Hearing room. Continue reading “CA Assembly SB-649 June 28 Testimony”

    Don’t Fall for AT&T’s Bait And Switch Scheme

    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.

    Continue reading “Don’t Fall for AT&T’s Bait And Switch Scheme”

    June 14 AT&T Landline Notice Clarification?

    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.

    Continue reading “June 14 AT&T Landline Notice Clarification?”

    June 11 East Bay Times Op-Ed

    Nina Beety: CA State Bill 649 Would Turn California Utility Poles into Cell Towers

    East BayTimes Op-Ed: published 6/11/17 at 3:21 pm

    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.

    Continue reading “June 11 East Bay Times Op-Ed”

    June 10 Monterey Herald Op-Ed

    Nina Beety: AT&T is Stealing our Landlines

    Monterey Herald Op-Ed: posted 6/10/17 @ 3:08 pm, PDT

    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.

    Continue reading “June 10 Monterey Herald Op-Ed”

    Press Advisory: CA SB 649 Passed by Senate

    California Senate Passed SB.649 — An Unconstitutional Bill That Forcibly Exposes California Neighborhoods to Constant, Hazardous 4G/5G Microwave Radiation

    Companion piece to Businesswire press release

    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.

    Continue reading “Press Advisory: CA SB 649 Passed by Senate”

    CA Senate SB-649 April 26 Testimony

    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.

    Continue reading “CA Senate SB-649 April 26 Testimony”

    Palo Alto 4G Small Cells: An Extreme Health Hazard

    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.

    The red dots on this map represent locations of 19 so-called “small cell” antennas that are forcibly exposing Palo Alto residents, workers and visitors to extremely hazardous levels of Radio-Frequency Microwave Radiation (RF/MW radiation) 24/7/365
    The screen of the HF-59B meter (equipped with a DG20_G10 -20 dB attenuator) shows peak RF/MW radiation readings of 72,000 to 123,000 microwatts per square meter (µW/m²) when standing on the sidewalk below the “Small Cells”. Applying the correction factor for the high-speed, pulsed, digital signals of 4G/LTE, the peak levels of 4G/LTE RF/MW radiation are actually over 720,000 to 1,230,000 µW/m², per the GigaHertz Solutions’ product manual and product video.

    Continue reading “Palo Alto 4G Small Cells: An Extreme Health Hazard”