In many states, like California, there has been a relentless push over the last several years to blanket 5G cell towers over broad and beautiful landscapes. Telecom’s promise of connecting everyone to their toasters, webcams, and self-driving cars anywhere at any time, as well as a promise to close the digital divide, appears to have allured and aligned California legislators into passing laws that promote the Telecom agenda. In California 2 telecom bills predominate in 2023. The first, AB 965 (Carrillo) removes more local authority and thoughtful permitting for cities by allowing unlimited batched permits for cell tower placement within a shot clock or they will be deemed approved. This would spell a massive and rapid increase in cell towers throughout California. The second bill, AB 1065 (Patterson). allows for California funds previously designated for fiberoptic to be used for wireless infrastructure.
The deliberate industry goal is a “light regulatory framework” in order “to remove regulatory barriers”. Wireless technology is surely useful and convenient, however, with the massive and intrusive buildout of cell towers on land and in space, long term sustainability factors need to be placed into the equation. These include significant and irreparable harm to the environment from increased energy use, mining of minerals on land and in the ocean with effects on sea life, E waste, harm to wildlife, trees, and bees, as well as harm to public health, human rights violations abroad and harm to children’s mental health. While some laws are wise and promote safer, faster, locally controlled wired fiber, some bills are considered by critics to be a pure and reckless give away to the affluent lobbyist heavy wireless industry. Fiberoptic, not wireless, should be promoted by Telecom, and this appears to be just another broken promise. In addition, legacy copper landlines, which those who are electrosensitive depend on for communication, are planned to be discontinued and some are petitioning to keep them.
Other states have taken a sharper look at what 5G wireless really means for solving the digital divide, public health, environmental health, privacy and security, with the continuous steam of profitable data collection. One state, New Hampshire, formed a Commission to study 5G health and Environmental health effects. Kent Chamberlin, a member of the New Hampshire 5G Commission discusses the rationale for one of their recommendations for a 1640 foot setback from cell towers for the protection of public health. Another 5G Commission recommendation states that the State of New Hampshire should “develop RF-radiation safety limits that will protect the trees, plants, birds, insects, and pollinators.” Blake Levitt, Environmental journalist and author speaking about wireless telecommunications in a 2023 wildlife forum notes, “It is these exact RFR bands between 30 KHz and 3 GHz used in telecommunications technology that have increased during this period of accelerating wildlife disappearance. No other pollutant has increased in parallel like this.”
New wireless Federal legislation in 2023 is proposed which overrides local authority as well environmental laws as well. After a briefly looking at Federal legislation we will look at current telecom bills from California and the rest of the U.S to compare wireless proliferation bills versus public protection bills and which states opt for open access fiberoptic. We will also examine European concerns about 5G deployment.
Environmental Health Trust has a useful post and summaries of the congressional bills of concern – CONGRESSIONAL BILLS THAT WILL INCREASE WIRELESS RADIATION. Sept 2, 2023. EH Trust notes, “Pending bills are being promoted under the banners of “streamlining”, “removing barriers to entry”, and “closing the digital divide.” In fact, these bills ignore constitutional protections, conflict with existing federal law, remove states’ rights, and would perpetuate the digital divide. Increasing RF levels across the country will put people, wildlife, and the natural environment at serious risk of harm. Federal accountability and environmental safeguards are needed before allowing unfettered wireless proliferation.
Read More “California and Federal Wireless Telecom Bills 2023: Big Tech Fast Tracking AB 965 and AB 1065, H.R. 3557”