Place Ordinance WE-WANT-IT on the Next City Council Agenda

We have met and continue to meet with State Senators and Representatives to discuss some common sense solutions to restore local control over the placement, construction and modification of Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) of any size and Any G — the same local control that is consistent with the Congressional intent of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, a chief purpose of which is to promote the safety of life and property:

  • Returning local control to counties, cities, towns and villages for placement, construction, & modification of WTFs of Any G.
  • Instituting Effective Radiated Power limits for any WTFs that are constructed in the public rights-of-way, attached to any buildings, or have antennas installed lower than 100 feet off the ground.
  • Pitch as State Bill: the Written Evidence — Wireless Antenna Need Test in Telecommunications (WE-WANT-IT) Bill, described, below.


Written Evidence — Wireless Antenna Need Test
— In Telecommunications (WE-WANT-IT) Bill / Ordinance

Ordinance WE-WANT-IT Text:

WE-WANT-IT would require a Comprehensive Wireless Signal Strength Test to be conducted every six months by an independent RF Engineer, who will log, second-by-second, the Wireless signal-strength levels in dBm (decibel-milliWatts) of every carrier-specific licensed and unlicensed wireless frequency that is being transmitted to the streets of every local authority (every city, town, village or unincorporated county area). The full data file for each WE-WANT-IT test will be placed in the public record of each respective authority for anyone to view, analyze and verify and will serve as the basis for local decisions, regarding:

  • the need for any additional Wireless infrastructure; and
  • the placement, construction, modification and operations of WTFs of Any G within the authority’s borders.

The Cost for each WE-WANT-IT test would be paid by antenna operators on a pro rata basis: the share of each Wireless Company’s antenna capabilities, meaning the percentage of the sum of the maximum Effective Radiated Power that could be transmitted by each antenna operating within the authority’s borders.

Logarithmic Power Gain/Loss in decibels (dB)

  • A decibel (symbol: dB) is a relative unit of measurement corresponding to 1/10th of a bel (B). 1
  • Important: dB is a unitless fraction vs. dBm which defines 0 dBm as 1/1000th of a Watt

Gain/loss as a ratio

Gain/loss as a factor

Gain/loss in dB Power gain

One Trillion : 1 1,000,000,000,000 +120.0 dB
100,000,000,000:1 10,000,000,000 +110.0 dB
10,000,000,000:1 10,000,000,000 +100.0 dB
One Billion : 1 1,000,000,000 +90.0 dB
100,000,000:1 10,000,000 +80.0 dB
10,000,000:1 10,000,000 +70.0 dB
One Million : 1 1,000,000 +60.0 dB
100,000:1 100,000 +50.0 dB
10,000:1 10,000 +40.0 dB
One Thousand : 1 1,000 +30.0 dB
100:1 100 +20.0 dB
10:1 10 +10.0 dB
5:1 5 +7.0 dB
4:1 4 +6.0 dB
2:1 2 +3.0 dB
1:1 1 0.00 dB
1:2 0.50 −3.0 dB
1:4 0.25 −6.0 dB
1:5 0.20 −7.0 dB
1:10 0.10 −10.00 dB
1:100 0.01 −20.00 dB
1 : One Thousandth 0.001 −30.00 dB
1:10,000 0.0001 −40.00 dB
1:100,000 0.00001 −50.00 dB
1 : One Millionth 0.000001 −60.00 dB
1:10,000,000 0.0000001 −70.00 dB
1:100,000,000 0.00000001 −80.00 dB
1 : One Billionth 0.000000001 −90.00 dB
1:10,000,000,000 0.0000000001 −100.00 dB
1:100,000,000,000 0.00000000001 −110.00 dB
1 : One Trillionth 0.000000000001 −120.00 dB

1 The definition of the decibel is based on the measurement of power in telephony of the early 20th century in the Bell System in the United States.

  • One decibel is one tenth (deci-) of one bel, named in honor of Alexander Graham Bell; however, the bel is seldom used.
  • In electronics, the gains of amplifiers, attenuation of signals, and signal-to-noise ratios are often expressed in decibels.

Beware of the Overloaded Term “Capacity”, As Used by the Wireless Industry

An overloaded term is one that has more than one meaning.

Capacity (noun) : has at least two distinct definitions
  1. the maximum amount or number that can be contained or accommodated
  2. the facility or power to produce, perform, or deploy

  • Telecommunications is the practice of transmitting Title II-regulated phone calls by wire or by spraying it wirelessly, using electromagnetic power through the air.
  • Broadband is the practice of transmitting Title I-unregulated data by wire or by spraying it wirelessly, using electromagnetic power through the air.

The US 1996 Telecommunications Act (an amendment to the 1934 Communications Act) formally defines and makes a distinction between telecommunications service and information service. In short, telecommunications service is Title II-regulated phone calls by wire or radio, while information service is everything else: Title I-unregulated data: texting, video-conferencing, Internet, gaming, audio/video steaming et al.

Only telecommunications service is a regulated Title II service and, therefore, the only service that benefits from federal premption of local authority. See The October 1, 2019 Ruling in Case No. 18-1051, Mozilla v FCC.

47 U.S. Code § 153 – Definitions

(53) Telecommunications service: The term “telecommunications service” means the offering of telecommunications for a fee directly to the public, or to such classes of users as to be effectively available directly to the public, regardless of the facilities used.

(24) Information service: The term “information service” means the offering of a capability for generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information via telecommunications, and includes electronic publishing, but does not include any use of any such capability for the management, control, or operation of a telecommunications system or the management of a telecommunications service.

In Telecom parlance, the Wireless Industry loves to opine about coverage vs. capacity, because doing so, often serves their business goals to overserve the American public with excessive wireless signal to maximize their profits — in violation of Title 47 U.S.C § 324, and US Circuits Courts of Appeals rulings from 1996 to the present.

A. Title 47 U.S.C § 324

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.

The concept of wireless coverage derives from US Circuits Courts of Appeals rulings from 1996 to the present which clearly define two important principles that constrain Federal overreach into local zoning authority over the placement, construction and modification of personal wireless facilities:

  • Significant Gap in Telecommunications Coverage
  • Least Intrusive Means in order to close a Significant Gap in Telecommunications Coverage

B. 2005 Ninth Circuit Ruling : Metro-PCS vs. San Francisco (link)
D. Prohibition Claim

   2. Service Gap

      (a) Definition of “Significant Gap.” Having considered both the avowed policy goals of the 1996-TCA and the practical implications of the various constructional options, we elect to follow the district court’s lead and formally adopt the First Circuit’s rule that a significant gap in service (and thus an effective prohibition of service) exists whenever a provider is prevented from filling a significant gap in its own service coverage.  

      (b) Least Intrusive Means: The Second and Third Circuit “least intrusive” standard . . . allows for a meaningful comparison of alternative sites before the siting application process is needlessly repeated.   It also gives providers an incentive to choose the least intrusive site in their first siting applications, and it promises to ultimately identify the best solution for the community, not merely the last one remaining after a series of application denials. For these reasons, we now adopt the “least intrusive means” standard and instruct the district court to apply this rule as necessary in its consideration of the prohibition issue.

The term wireless capacity, which appears nowhere in the language of the 1996-TCA, has two distinct meanings in Wireless Telecom vernacular:

  1. Capacity is sometimes used by the Wireless industry to describe the number of simultaneous users that can connect to a single Wireless Telecommunications Facility (WTF) base station (around 3,000 users), which is independent of the power output from that WTF, as long as the “minimum amount of power necessary to carry out the communication desired” (telecommunications) has been achieved (0.1 Watt of ERP covers ½-mile radius from a WTF). Read also about Lorentz Reciprocity here → https://ourtownourchoice.org/fcc/
  2. Capacity is also used by the Wireless industry to describe the amount of electromagnetic power through the air that the Wireless industry purports is desired for information service. There is no preemption available for this type of capacity, despite the Wireless industry’s statements.

In the Signal Strength RF Microwave Radiation Exposure Guidelines table, below, the “Land of Capacity” is for information services in the context of [2] , above, and, therefore, is wholly unnecessary because wireline broadband information service is far superior to wireless broadband information service. Of critical importance, wireline broadband information service by copper, coaxial or fiber optic cables (directly to the premises) IS NOT a “functionally equivalent service” to wireless broadband information service, as seen in the following table and in the definition recognized by U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 03-1601, CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES et al. v. ABRAMS (2005)

Definition of functionally equivalent services:

“When utilizing the term ‘functionally equivalent services‘ the conferees are referring only to personal wireless services as defined in this section that directly compete against one another.”

Definition of personal wireless services:

“commercial mobile services, unlicensed wireless services, and common carrier wireless exchange access services;”

FTTP Broadband and Wireless Broadband Are NOT Functionally Equivalent Services

Wireline FTTP Broadband Wireless Broadband
Data Medium Wireline glass fiber Wireless through the air
Spectrum Visible Light Microwave
Frequencies Terrahertz Megahertz
Frequency Ranges 405,000,000,000,000 Hz
790,000,000,000,000 Hz
600,000,000 Hz
86,000,000,000 Hz
Frequency Ranges 405 × 1012 Hz to 790 × 1012 Hz 600 × 106 Hz to 86,000 × 106 Hz
Wireless Interference None Ubiquitous
Data capacity Huge Limited
Download speed 1,000 Mbsp down 25-100 Mbsp down
Upload speed 1,000 Mbsp up 5-10 Mbsp up
Latency 1-5 mill-seconds 10-50 ms
Energy-efficiency Extremely efficient Extremely inefficient
More Frequent Installation Underground On poles
Less Frequent Installation On poles Underground
Ease of date capture Difficult Easy
Security Much more secure Much less secure
National Security More reliable Much less reliable
Electromagnetic Pulse Attack Survives Does not survive
Fire: Natural or Attack Survives Underground Does not survive=
Health Effects None Many Proven*
Biological Effects None Many Proven*
Environmental Effects None Many Proven*
Impacts in/from PROW None Significant**

* Link to tens of thousand of peer-reviewed studies — established science that proves Negative Health, Biological and Environmental Impacts of RF microwave radiation exposures

**Link to safety, privacy and property value harms from Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) installed near homes

Signal Strength RF Microwave Radiation Exposure Guidelines

dBm (decibel-milliwatts) is an abbreviation for the power ratio in decibels (dB) of the measured power referenced to one milliwatt (1 mW = 1/1,000 of a Watt). It is used in radio, microwave and fiber-optic communication networks as a convenient measure of absolute power because of its capability to express both very large and very small values in a short form. The following data is based on that published in the Cornet ED-85X Manual; the meter’s antenna is centered at 2,450 MHz and can meter RF Microwave Radiation from 700 MHz to 6,000 MHz. See Case No. 18-1051, Mozilla v FCC

dBm Power Density Comparison    
0 dBm 580,000 µW/m² 322,000,000x higher Land of . . .
-5 dBm 180,000 µW/m² 100,000,000x higher

Land of

(No 1996-TCA Preemption)

-10 dBm 58,000 µW/m²    
-15 dBm 18,000 µW/m² 10,000,000x higher  
-20 dBm 5,800 µW/m²    
-25 dBm 1,800 µW/m² 1,000,000x higher  
-30 dBm 580 µW/m²    
-35 dBm 180 µW/m² 100,000x higher  
-40 dBm 58 µW/m²    
-45 dBm 18 µW/m² 10,000x higher  
-50 dBm 5.8 µW/m²    
-55 dBm 1.8 µW/m² 1,000x higher  
-60 dBm 0.58 µW/m²    
-65 dBm 0.18 µW/m² 100x higher  
-70 dBm .058 µW/m²    
-75 dBm .018 µW/m² 10x higher

Land of

(1996-TCA Premption)

-80 dBm .0058 µW/m²    
85 dBm 0.0018 µW/m² 5 Bars on a cell phone  
-90 dBm 0.00058 µW/m²    
-95 dBm 0.00018 µW/m² 1/10 lower  
-100 dBm 0.000058 µW/m²    
-105 dBm 0.000018 µW/m² 1/100 lower  
-110 dBm 0.0000058 µW/m²    
-115 dBm 0.0000018 µW/m² 1/1,000 lower  
-120 dBm 0.00000058 µW/m²    
-125 dBm 0.00000018 µW/m² 1/10,000 lower  

Conclusion: 0.002 µW/m² (-85 dBm) is all the RF microwave radiation that is needed for strong cellular service in a residential neighborhood. A locality can set a maximum power output limit from all frequencies/antennas from a WTF in the public rights-of-way at 0.1 Watt of Effective Radiated Power (ERP) because that provides -85 dBm signal strength at a ½-mile down the street, with five bars on a cell phone and everyone can make a call.

  • 0.002 µW/m² is 5 billion (5,000,000,000) times lower than the scientifically-unsound, FCC RF microwave radiation maximum public exposure guideline of 10,000,000 µW/m².
  • 0.002 µW/m² is still 2 billion (2,000,000,000) times higher than the PicoWatt (0.000000000001 Watt) electrical rates of power that human cell membranes use in regulating many key biological functions.

The simple math, above, clearly explains why Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas (CPMRA) are hazardous and should not be allowed in public rights-of-way in residential zones.

Biologically-Based RF Microwave Radiation Exposure Guidelines

To compare, explore this link to “FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation”

BioInitiative, 2019: “A scientific benchmark of 30 µW/m² for lowest observed effect level for RF microwave radiation is based on mobile phone base station-level studies. Applying a ten-fold reduction to compensate for the lack of long-term exposure (to provide a safety buffer for chronic exposure) or for children as a sensitive subpopulation yields a 3 to 6 µW/m² RF Microwave Radiation exposure guideline”

Similar scientifically-based RF Microwave Radiation Exposure Guidelines are published by the International Institute for Building-Biology & Ecology:

No Hazard Slight Hazard Severe Hazard Extreme Hazard
< 0.1 µW/m² 0.1 µW/m² to 10 µW/m² 10 µW/m² to 1,000 µW/m² > 1,000 µW/m²
  • µW/m² = millionths of a Watt per square meter (a measurement of power flux density)
  • Power flux density (PFD) = the amount of electrical power that flows through a unit area: expressed as microWatts (µW) per square meter (m²).
  • PFD measures only the rate of electrical power, NOT the total electrical power delivered over time, which requires the rate to be multiplied by the time of exposure and then requires reporting the results in a more relevant unit: µW-seconds/m² or µJoules/m²
  • Average µW/m² readings, as specified by the FCC, significantly under-report the levels of pulsed, data-modulated, RF microwave radiation exposures for two reasons —
  • Peak RF microwave radiation exposures meter 100x–1000x higher than average RF microwave radiation for data-carrying, modulated, high-crest signals like Wi-Fi, 4G/LTE and 5G because of the duty cycle, inherent in these RF signals. Inexplicably, the FCC RF microwave radiation exposure guidelines only consider average RF microwave radiation exposures, which is a significant error because living organisms’ biology reacts to the sharp changes of RF microwave radiation from zero to peak levels and back again. This is more fully explained here: Palo Alto Whitewashes RF Microwave Radiation Exposure Hazards
  • The FCC RF microwave radiation exposure guidelines consider neither the time of exposure nor the total electrical power delivered over time, which is utter nonsense and scientifically unsound. This is more fully explained here: RF Microwave Radiation Counter.