Telecom companies are preparing to
unleash the next wave of wireless technology in neighborhoods across the
nation, deployed block by block. The telecoms industry, with an assist by the
federal government, is barring the ability of local governments to manage how
the new technologies get installed.
Telecom companies are installing the
infrastructure needed for "5G" networks, which are up to 1,000 times
faster than the current 4G networks. Setting up 5G networks requires "small
cells" to be placed on streetlights and utility poles throughout
neighborhoods and cities. These "small cells" include antennas, power
supplies, electric meters, switches, bundles of cables, and boxes--all strapped
to the poles. Some have refrigerator-sized containers on the ground. These
cells are supposed to be placed every 500 feet along residential streets and
through commercial districts.
Homeowners worry that the small
cells are unattractive and will affect property values. Even more disturbing are
the health concerns. Small cells emit microwave radiation and essentially
function as cell towers. Placing these units every 500 feet means that
communities will be bathed in radiation. We've written before about the health
implications of over-exposure to microwaves. Microwave radiation can negatively
affect mitochondrial function, cause cell damage and DNA breaks, accelerates
aging, and puts us at a higher risk for chronic disease. A recent study from
the National Toxicology Program showed rats exposed to cell phone radiation at
the federally allowable level had an increased risk for brain and heart tumors.
Animal studies have demonstrated the health dangers of the radio frequencies
used by 5G, including: arrhythmias in frogs, immune system effects in healthy
mice, lens opacity (linked with cataracts) in rats, and more.
It's no surprise, then, that many
communities are fighting to control how 5G gets deployed, but the telecom
giants and the federal government continue to threaten local autonomy.
Telecom companies are working with
the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to steamroll local governments into
kowtowing to whatever industry says it needs. The FCC recently approved rules
that limit the fees local governments can charge telecom companies for use of
public utilities and property. Other rules already on the books have
"streamlined" small cell deployment by reducing the time cities and
counties have to review applications. The agency is studying how they could
limit cities' requirements on the look and design of small cells.
This is unacceptable. Special
interests are using the power of the federal government to ignore local laws
and endanger our health.
Write to Congress and the FCC,
telling them to stop undermining local democracy and to study the
health effects of 5G technology.
Please allow communities to control 5G tech
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]