We are Americans who believe in the implementation of safe, reliable and responsible technology. We believe in the democratic process, and in our right to determine how new technologies will be integrated into our neighborhoods, our homes and our lives. We believe the issues that surround the widespread deployment of new wireless 4G/5G technologies must be addressed before taxpayer money is used to expand them.
No vague promise of future benefits is worth jeopardizing our democratic principles, our freedom of choice, or our health, safety, security, property and privacy.
• There is no justification for this massive wireless densification. The build-out of millions of new wireless antennas is not necessary for coverage or public safety. It will not improve emergency responsiveness, or magically close the "digital divide." This is not a public service or a vital utility.
We believe the primary purpose of 4G/5G densification is simply profit. It will allow telecoms to compete with cable companies by selling wireless video subscriptions that deliver television without having to invest the money to lay cable. Billions in profits will result from charging consumers to watch movies, play online games and surf the internet, and by mining and marketing the resulting customer data.
• Small cell antennas can significantly impact property values. According to a survey conducted by the National Institute for Law & Public Policy, an overwhelming 94 percent of home buyers and renters say they are less interested and would pay less for a property located near a cell tower or antenna. What's more, of the 1,000 survey respondents, 79 percent said that under no circumstances would they ever purchase or rent a property within a few blocks of a cell tower or antennas, and almost 90 percent said they were concerned about the increasing number of cell towers and antennas in their residential neighborhood.
• American telephone customers have already paid for a national, fiber-optic network that would provide reliable, low-cost, secure and safe broadband internet access to every American. But instead of using the funds to build the network, as they had promised, the telecoms decided to use the money instead to build out their wireless networks, which are more profitable. Read the press release about FIBERGATE. Listen to the PODCAST.
• The build-out of new wireless networks will exacerbate existing energy and safety problems. According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), wireless infrastructure consumes three times as much energy as wired technologies. A massive build-out of 5G will significantly increase demand for power, resulting in greater greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.
Extreme weather events now routinely occur around the country – wildfires, hurricanes, flash floods, mudslides, drought. What happens when telecoms install hundreds of pounds of wireless transmission equipment on telephone poles in residential neighborhoods? Recent events have proven wireless systems to be unreliable and potentially hazardous in an emergency.
• Proposed legislation guts democratic norms, local control and sources of revenue. Americans elect local leaders to represent their interests and respond to their needs, including a clean and healthy environment and the unique aesthetic of their community. Telecom-sponsored national legislation that takes away local control over the deployment of 4G/5G equipment violates basic democratic norms.
Public rights-of-way are public property. Providing private businesses with access to public property generates income for a municipality's general fund, which pays for road repairs and other basic services. Legislation that eliminates or limits a municipality's right to receive income from leasing its own property, and empowers private interests to reap billions in profit without compensation is not acceptable.
• Regulations to protect public health and safety are inadequate and outdated. Published science proves harmful health effects from exposure to RF microwave radiation; studies show a wide range of biological effects at levels far below current FCC exposure guidelines. RF microwave radiation affects everyone, and with 4G/5G installations in every neighborhood, Americans will not be able to escape continuous, involuntary exposures in their own homes. The unborn child, small children, the elderly, and people with chronic illnesses, microwave sickness, or compromised immune systems are particularly vulnerable.
Telecoms admit they do not know if their wireless technology is safe, and warn that their revenues could be negatively impacted by health claims. Insurance companies will not insure telecoms against liability for exposure-related health claims or other damages; taxpayers may be forced to bail out telecoms in future class-action lawsuits.
• Human health is already being compromised by wireless radiation. The recent $25 million NTP study provides conclusive evidence that exposure to wireless radiation causes cancer. Oxidative stress, a proven result of microwave exposure, is a well-established mechanism that can lead to cancer, non-cancer conditions and DNA damage. Microwave sickness is a recognized medical condition in the U.S. and many other parts of the developed world.
• We're playing with nature, and we can't predict the consequences. Radio frequency radiation is known to interfere with the ability of birds and bees to navigate, with potentially disastrous implications for our food supply. Read our letter to the FCC. Recently more than 700 medical and scientific professionals wrote to the FCC demanding the agency hold off on authorizing the use of certain high frequency bands until independent scientists have been consulted. Read the press release.
• There is an existing solution for internet connectivity: Fiber-optic To and Through the Premises ("FTTP"). Fiber-optic is faster, thousands of times more energy-efficient, and much more secure and reliable compared to wireless. It is more easily defended and resilient in the face of natural disasters and/or direct attacks, and is not hazardous to human health.
* * *
The telecom industry and the commissioners of the FCC are rushing to deploy the next generation of wireless before these issues have been addressed. The "race" to be first in 5G technology is one not worth winning if the cost exceeds the benefits.
We call on our elected representatives in Washington to reject any proposal to use public funds or public property to facilitate the deployment of expanded wireless networks until these issues have been fully, publicly and satisfactorily addressed.