Follow the Money to Solve the Digital Divide

By Bruce Kushnick, Sept. 16, 2019 | Original Medium article here.

Let’s fix the Digital Divide

First, the only way to fix the Digital Divide is to deal with the fact that America has paid multiple times for fiber optic deployments, upgrades of the state-based telecommunications utilities that are mainly controlled by AT&T, Verizon and Centurylink. Unfortunately, for the most part, the companies never delivered and this, in part, created the Digital Divide.

Second, at the core — IRREGULATORS v FCC is a new, current challenge to expose one of the largest accounting scandals in American history. We uncovered that the FCC’s accounting rules, either by design or happenstance, have been manipulated; they now put the majority of all wired expenses into the state utility’s local service, and this made the entire US wired state-based public utility infrastructure to appear unprofitable. At the same time, it has allowed the companies’ other lines of business, including wireless to be cross-subsidized — funded by charging local phone customers, and inflating the retail prices of almost all other services, including wireless, broadband and phone service.

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Sonoma Planning Commission to Grapple with Verizon 4G Cell Tower Network

By Christian Kallen | Original Sonoma Index-Tribune article here

Three so-called "Small Cell" Cell Towers, also known as Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antenna installation (CPMRAs) are being proposed for Sonoma’s Commercial areas within hundreds of feet of businesses, homes, schools and churches

Verizon CPMRA Cell Tower Locations

  1. 531 Fifth St. West, in front of US Bank | map

  2. 303 West Napa St. next, in front of Pharmaca Integrated Pharmacy and across from St. Franciso Solano church | map

  3. 25 McDonell St., in front of the North Bay Insurance Building | map

The Sonoma Planning Commission meets Thursday, Sept. 12, at 6 p.m. at City Council Chambers, 177 First St. West. The Planning Commissioners will consider use Permits for three wireless telecommunications facilities on streetlight poles.

Verizon returns to the Sonoma Planning Commission this week to make another pitch for the installation of three “small cell node” antennas in downtown Sonoma to improve “wireless voice and data coverage to the surrounding area.”

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Tuning in to Microwave Sickness From Wireless Radiation

By Conan Milner, September 2, 2019 | Original Epoch Times article here.

How wireless technology can trigger devastating illnesses.

In 2016, U.S. officials stationed overseas started showing signs of a mysterious illness. The list of symptoms included headaches, sensitivity to light, sleep and cognitive problems, and nosebleeds. Many heard strange sounds that seemed to come from inside their heads.

Over the next two years, dozens of diplomats staying in U.S. embassies in Cuba and China all developed the same list of symptoms. Doctors summed it up as a type of brain trauma, but there’s no official answer of the cause. The lead theory is that the diplomats were the target of an unusual weapon—one that emits a directed pulse of microwave radiation.

In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Mark Lenzi, a State Department security officer who worked in the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, said that he and his wife began to suffer after hearing strange sounds in their apartment. Lenzi seemed certain that they were the victims of an energy weapon.

“This was a directed standoff attack against my apartment,” Lenzi told “60 minutes.” “I believe it’s RF, radio frequency energy, in the microwave range.”

The first scientist to suggest that microwaves were the cause of the illness was Dr. Beatrice Golomb, a professor of medicine at the University of California–San Diego, and a researcher who examines how drugs and environmental toxins harm health. When she heard about the diplomats’ symptoms, her first thought was microwave exposure.

“The profile of symptoms does not match anything else I’m familiar with,” Golomb said. “These are highly distinctive symptoms known to occur only in that setting. The likelihood that it could be anything else is very remote.”

Golomb wrote a paper outlining her case. Before it was even submitted for publication, it caught the attention of State Department officials eager for a meaningful explanation. She wrote that one major reason why the diplomats’ illness suggests a microwave cause is the auditory symptoms they experienced: hearing loss, tinnitus, and the presence of a chirping, ringing, hissing, or buzzing sound.

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TWIT: Uninformed Tech Journalists

The following section of Leo Laporte’s popular This Week in Tech podcast perpetuates misinformation about pulsed, data-modulated, Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR) by conflating ionizing radiation and RF-EMR non-ionizing radiation, which are entirely separate phenomena, each with its own separate and distinct ways of causing harm to biological organisms.

August 25, 2019: This Week in Tech 773

One innacurate theme discussed here is that ionizing radiation can cause harm to biological organisms, but non-ionizing radiation from 24/7 Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) and use of wireless devices cannot cause biological harm. Such a claim is not supported by the peer-reviewed science from the last 75 years. Both forms of radiation cause biological harm. RF-EMR exposures cause biological harm at levels around 100,000 times lower than the FCC far-field RF-EMR maximum public exposure guideline.

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WSJ: Cities Saying ‘No’ to 5G, Citing Health, Aesthetics and FCC Bullying

By Christopher Mims, Aug 24, 2019 | Original Wall Street Journal article here

Jack Tibbetts, a member of the Santa Rosa, Calif., city council, knew he had a problem. It was early 2018, and he’d started getting calls from constituents at opposite ends of the political spectrum. The common thread: cellular antennas going up next to their homes, causing concerns over property values and health.

The weight of evidence suggests that if radio-frequency emissions have any effect on humans at all, it is, according to the World Health Organization, about on par with other “possibly carcinogenic” substances, including coffee and pickles. The Federal Communications Commission, citing input from the Food and Drug Administration, recently declared that existing limits on the amount of radio-frequency energy these antennas put out make them safe.

S4WT Comment: Read an excellent rebuttal to the FCC and FDA from:

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

[The FCC’s] assertions do not reflect the state of the scientific literature regarding RF health effects, nor do they adequately reflect the public comment received by the FCC over the past six years regarding RF exposure limits for Proceeding Number 13-84.

The FCC has no health expertise and relies upon Federal health agencies, especially the FDA, for advice about RF exposure limits. However, these agencies have lacked the requisite expertise to provide this guidance as their RF health experts retired or took industry jobs. In the past decade, these agencies have failed to monitor the vast and growing body of peer-reviewed research that documents adverse health effects from low-intensity exposure to radio-frequency radiation. Rather, the Federal government has increasingly relied upon advice from engineers and scientists with conflicts of interest and industry lobbyists.

  • Link to Part I: Why We Need Stronger Cell Phone Radiation Regulations — Key Testimony Submitted to the FCC

  • Link to Part II: Why We Need Stronger Cell Phone Radiation Regulations — Key Research Papers Submitted to the FCC

  • Link to Part III: Why We Need Stronger Cell Phone Radiation Regulations — 98 Scientific Experts Who Signed Resolutions

Cities and towns throughout Northern California are issuing ordinances that would exclude new 5G cell sites from residential areas, citing health concerns.

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Federal Court Overturns FCC Order Bypassing Environmental Review For 4G/5G Wireless Small Cell Densification

On August 9, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a decision substantially setting back the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission to expedite the deployment of densified 4G/5G so-called “Small Cell” cell towers. The FCC had issued an order in March 2018 eliminating environmental and historic preservation review of densified 4G + 5G so-called “small cell” cell towers. The FCC had reasoned that even though the industry planned to deploy as many as 800,000 of these 50-foot (possibly taller) towers in neighborhoods and historic districts around the country by 2026, it was not in the public interest to review their potential impacts on the environment and historical places.

The court vacated the portions of the order that exempted small cells from NEPA and NHPA reviews, delivering a setback to the FCC’s efforts to speed up small cell deployment of densified 4G and 5G networks. Cases challenging another recent FCC order that limits local government control over small wireless facilities are currently pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In an appeal brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council and several Native American Tribes, the Court found that the FCC had failed to adequately address possible harms of its deregulatory efforts and the benefits of environmental and historic preservation review. In particular, the Court observed that the FCC had failed to address the cumulative harms that may result from “densification”:

  • the crowding of multiple cell towers in a limited area;
  • the potential harms from co-location of multiple cell antennas on a pole simultaneously transmitting voice and data on multiple frequency bands (potentially from 600 MHz to 90,000 MHz)
  • the FCC quickly and prematurely deploying this densificatiton of Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) scheme before the FCC had completed its ongoing investigation into the potential health effects of pulsed, data-modulated, Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR) from antennas in such close proximity to where people live, work, study, play, sleep and heal (antennas installed as close as 15 to 50 feet from homes and only 25 to 50 feet off the ground).

The Court found that the FCC’s Order was arbitrary and capricious and, therefore, unlawful. Consequently, the Court vacated the FCC’s Order 18-30, thereby reinstating prior regulations requiring environmental and historic preservation reviews of densified 4G and 5G cell tower deployments.

Attorney Edward B. Myers an intervenor in the case stated:

“I intervened in opposition to the FCC’s order because the order represented a precipitous effort to jam thousands of 4G/5G towers into virtually every neighborhood in the country (including mine) based on woefully outdated RF-EMR exposure exposure guidelines. The efforts of the FCC to develop meaningful RF-EMR exposure exposure guidelines, especially with regard to the health impacts of pulsed, data-modulated, Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR) emitted by small cell towers, are practically non-existent. I am gratified by the Court’s decision which, in my view, is a cautionary tale against the arbitrary and capricious efforts of the FCC to dispense with NEPA review.”

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its unanimous ruling writing that FCC Chair Ajit Pai’s order . . .

“does not justify the Commission’s determination that it was not in the public interest to require review of small cell deployments. In particular, the Commission failed to justify its confidence that small cell deployments pose little to no cognizable religious, cultural, or environmental risk, particularly given the vast number of proposed deployments and the reality that the Order will principally affect small cells that require new construction.”

The FCC also failed to “adequately address possible harms of deregulation and benefits of environmental and historic-preservation review,” which means the commission’s “deregulation of small cells is thus arbitrary and capricious,” judges concluded.

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FCC Seeks Comments on Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR) Exposure Guidelines

  • Ajit Pai shared with his colleagues on Aug 9, 2019 a proposal that would continue to maintain the Commission’s existing radio-frequency (RF) exposure limits.

  • The Commission seeks comment on establishing rules formalizing its existing methods of determining compliance with the RF exposure standard for high-frequency devices.

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26 States Now Ban or Restrict Community Broadband

by Karl Bode | Apr 18 2019 } Original Motherboard article here.

Many of the laws restricting local voters’ rights were directly written by a Telecom sector terrified of real broadband competition.


A new report has found that 26 states now either restrict or outright prohibit towns and cities from building their own broadband networks. Quite often the laws are directly written by the telecom sector, and in some instances ban towns and cities from building their own broadband networks—even if the local ISP refuses to provide service.

The full report by BroadbandNow, a consumer-focused company that tracks US broadband availability, indicates the total number of state restrictions on community broadband has jumped from 20 such restrictions since the group’s last report in 2018.

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FCC Cost Misallocation Raises Bills, Undermines Competition, and Widens the Digital Divide

By Mark Cooper, Apr 17, 2019 | Original Press Release here.

Appeals Court Must Stop Billions of Dollars of Illegal Costs Dumped on Local Telephone Customers

Washington, D.C. – Mark Cooper, Director of Research for the Consumer Federation of America, joined a law suit challenging the decision of the Federal Communication Commission1 to extend the allocation of costs between federal and state jurisdictions that was adopted in 2000 for another six years.

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