In another effort to “cut the red tape” and fast track deployment of 5G throughout cities in America, the FCC is set to vote on a new Declaratory Ruling June 9, 2020, which will remove even more local government control in the permitting and placement of 5G cell towers. Representative Anna Eshoo, along with 23 of 29 Democratic members of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce wrote a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to ask for a delay in voting on this measure this during COVID-19 Pandemic. The letter states, “We are especially troubled by the burden responding to this Declaratory Ruling will place on local governments that are justifiably focused right now on combatting the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Likewise, we worry that if this Declaratory Ruling does not benefit from meaningful input from local governments, the result could undermine municipalities’ ability to balance their responsibilities to public safety and community design with their desire to ensure access to affordable wireless networks and the next generation services.”

5G FCC Fast Track Plan

The original FCC Declaratory Ruling to streamline deployment of 5G has been opposed by local and state governments as well as congressional representatives in both the House and Senate. This 5G Fast Track Plan removes local authority in the placement of 5G towers, limits revenue local governments can ask for rent on public utility poles, allows batching of dozens of permits in a city and prevents cities from placing a 5G moratorium. As in the original Telecommunications Act of 1996 health or environmental issues cannot be brought up as a reason to deny cell tower placement, despite growing scientific evidence of both harm to human health and the environment from this non-ionizing microwave radiation.

 Profits over Permits

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated in an article earlier in the year, that cost cutting relief is needed for telecom companies who are anxious to deploy 5G. “This is one of the roadblocks…It’s not just the national government that regulates in this area, it’s many other layers of government, and that’s not something that’s conducive to infrastructure investment”.

The Fake Race to 5G?

An industry analysis of 5G Deployment for Europe, the U.S. and Asia,  states that 5G will cost much more to deploy than prior wireless technology infrastructure. Their business model admits that 5G is not driven by consumer or government demand. The report clearly states,  “5G is driven by the telecoms supply industry, and its long tail of component manufacturers, a major campaign is under way to convince governments that the economy and jobs will be strongly stimulated by 5G deployment. However, we are yet to see significant “demand-pull” that could assure sales. These campaign efforts are also aimed at the MNOs[multiple Network operators] but they have limited capacity to invest in the new technology and infrastructure as their returns from investment in 3G and 4G are still being recouped.”  

The 5G industry campaign has cleverly made this into a race. The report highlights that “The notion of a “race” is part of the campaign but it is becoming clear that the technology will take much longer than earlier generations to perfect.”  Success for 5G, they note, depends on  “developing a lightweight regulatory framework for deployment of small area wireless access points” for easy rollout. In addition because of the cost of 5G to industrial users, “new models may emerge for alternative forms of network ownership and operations. In the vertical industrial sectors (e.g. aerospace and car manufacture, construction, health services, utilities, etc) the sector players may become the prevalent 5G network builders, owners and operators.” This will be promoted as profitable for many manufacturing businesses.

Economic Human Health and Environmental Consequences

Will there be any consideration for adverse effects of 5G to workers or consumers or the planet?  What about effects on children?  Privacy and security are increasing concerns.  There has not been adequate regulation, monitoring or scientific studies of 5G safety to date, thus it looks highly unlikely that will change.  As observational and scientific evidence mounts that wireless technology is just another biologic toxin, the direct and indirect costs of human health and environmental harms will be paid for by the taxpayers, as is now “traditionally” done for other industrial pollutants.

See Also


Physicians for Safe Technology