Densified 4G/5G Wireless Infrastructure is a Big Problem

In the public rights-of-way, Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) of any “G” are essentially factories that spew hazardous waste throughout residential zones, including parks and schools. The hazardous waste is the excessive electromagnetic power through-the-air that these Wireless factories manufacture and transmit.

The Wireless industry’s branding of so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (sWTFs) is misleading because “small” only applies to physical dimensions — if you consider 30 to 50-foot tall towers with 30 cubic feet of equipment to be “small”.

The branding does not communicate the truth of the matter — that the maximum power output from a sWTF is millions of times higher than needed due to the antennas being far too large, too low and too close to homes, schools and parks.

In addition, the FCC admitted on Feb 10, 2020 that FCC Order 18-133, is only an interpretive, not a self-enforcing order . . . so the September 2018, Streamline “Small” Cell Order does not give the Wireless industry the right to force their way into all public rights-of-way, if doing so violates local law. Just as importantly, FCC Order 18-133 does not take away local authority under the cooperative federalism framework set up in 1996 or wipe out the key Ninth Circuit Rulings in Sprint v San Diego (2008) or MetroPCS v San Francisco (2005) — rulings that establish the requirement of all Wireless applicants to prove that a “significant gap in telecommunications coverage” exists and that the proposed WTF is the “least intrusive means” to close any such proven gap.

Densified 4G/5G sWTFs pose many serious problems in residential zones.

  1. sWTFs are comprised of heavy-industrial equipment that manufactures and sprays electromagnetic power through-the-air, an agent recognized as a toxic pollutant by the Wireless industry itself.
  2. The purpose of these factories is to spray BIG DATA transmissions (for wireless internet, video and gaming) everywhere, to customers and non-customers, alike, and to form the backbone for 24/7 surveillance.
  3. The main problem is that WTFs spray excessive amounts of electromagnetic power through-the-air which ruins the quiet enjoyment of streets and which harms people, animals, pollinators, and plants.
  4. How excessive is this? 25 million times higher than needed for 5-bars telecommunications service on a cell phone — which is achieved at around -85 dBm.
  5. Wirelessly transmitting BIG DATA to homes requires thousands of times more energy than sending the same amount of BIG DATA via fiber optic or coaxial cables direct to homes. Wireline Broadband is faster, more secure, more reliable, handles more data and is far more energy-efficient. Wireless is only appropriate for small data transmissions (for wireless phone calls and texts).
  6. This problem of excessive effective radiated power is easily fixed by downsizing the size of the equipment (4-inch antennas, instead of 4-foot antennas) and the capping the maximum output power of certain sWTFs — to ensure that . . .
  7. sWTFs provide telecommunications service in a manner consistent with the federal law — 1996 Telecommunications Act (1996-TCA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) — as well as federal and state constitutional provisions.

47 U.S. Code § 324 – Use of minimum power

In all circumstances, except in case of radio communications or signals relating to vessels in distress, all radio stations, including those owned and operated by the United States, shall use the minimum amount of power necessary to carry out the communication desired.”

Pivotal Law Suit v FCC in January, 2021

The following are key sections of the 1996-TCA that are being argued by attorneys Edward B. Myers and W. Scott McCollough in January, 2021 lawsuit at the US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit — Case #20-1025: Environmental Health Trust, Children’s Health Defense et al. v FCC:

Governing Statutes and Regulations
  • The United States controls “all the channels of radio transmission.” 47 U.S.C. §301. The FCC oversees spectral assignments, approves devices andv [and] facilities, and prevents interference. 47 U.S.C. §§302a, 303, 305, 306, 307, 321.
  • The FCC is charged with “promoting safety of life and property” and the environment, and these responsibilities stand on equal ground with utility. See §§151, 154(n), 254(c)(1)(A), 324, 332(a)(1), 336(h)(4)(B), 925(b)(2)(C), 1455(a)(3).
  • Section 324 requires licensees to “use the minimum amount of power necessary to carry out the communication desired.”
  • The Commission’s regulations must contain “adequate safeguards of the public health and safety.” See H.R. Report No. 104-204, p. 94.
  • The FCC must serve the “public interest,” including consideration of utility and public health and safety. KFKB Broad. Ass’n v. Fed. Radio Com., 47 F.2d 670, 671-672 (D.C. Cir. 1931); see also Banzhaf v. FCC, 405 F.2d 1082, 1096 (D.C. Cir. 1968) (public interest indisputably includes public health).

Next Steps for City Councils

Residential zones are not appropriate sites for such insufficiently regulated Wireless factories.

These sWTF factories simply belong in other zones or they need to be downsized in dimension and in maximum power output to a level that will preserve the quiet enjoyment of streets — power output no higher than 0.1 Watt of Effective Radiated Power (ERP) from the face of the antenna.

In addition, these 4G/5G WTFs are being constructed without having had federally-required National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review. Any city would be well-served by requiring the following of all Wireless sWTF applications:

  • Objective data that demonstrates the need for any WTF — before it is permitted
  • Written evidence of federally-mandated NEPA review (required to maintain any FCC license)
  • Requiring the full insurance documents that prove that there is not an exclusion for electromagnetic power pollution; the evidence must prove there is adequate coverage to pay any claims of injury, illness or death from effective radiated power transmissions.
  • A complete list of the board of directors of the business entity that is applying for the permit.

Over 10,000 peer-reviewed scientific studies conclude that WTFs’ electromagnetic power through-the-air — at power levels that are hundreds of thousands of times lower than any Federal guidelines — results in the following:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Neurological/memory problems
  • Blood/Cardiac problems
  • Immediate effects on brains, eyes, breasts and testes, leading to infertility
  • DNA Damage
  • Increased incidence of cancer

If that weren’t enough, research shows a 20% drop in property values for homes near WTFs. This is an eminent-domain style “taking” of private property which is unjust and unnecessary for delivering telecommunications service.

A final insult is the real reason for these WTFs: 24/7 surveillance and an unconstitutional invasion of residents’ privacy — residents’ private data is being mined and sold to third-parties.