FCC Votes Today on Opening Additional Wireless Spectrum for 5G
Thursday, July 14, 2016
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today the Federal Communications Commission votes on a plan to open a new part of the wireless spectrum to encourage the development of the next generation of cell phones and wireless devices called 5G.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says this will allow U.S. companies to be the first to deploy the faster technology.
But Joel Moskowitz, an expert on radio frequency emissions with UC Berkeley, says there's barely any research on the health effects of 3G and 4G, much less 5G. He notes that a recent comprehensive government study showed a small but significant percentage of male rats exposed to lifelong 2G cell phone radiation developed cancerous or precancerous cells.
"I don't think we should blindly plow ahead and unleash these new technologies on the public because we're experimenting with the public,” he stresses. “We'd be saturating people's environments with this new form of man-made radiation."
Current wireless devices range between 2.4 and 5 gigahertz of exposure. The FCC says the next generation would operate between 28 and 71 gigahertz.
Moskowitz says 5G technology is more line-of-sight than current devices, so it would require millions of small transmitters just about everywhere, including on existing utility poles.
Wheeler has called for limits on local cities' authority to regulate the siting of these transmitters.
John Terell is vice president for policy and legislation for the California chapter of the American Planning Association, which represents city planners.
"We want to balance the rights of residents to an uncluttered and safe environment around their residence or business with the expansion of cellular telephone service, which the organization strongly supports," he says.
The Telecom Act of 1996 took away state and local governments' rights to limit antennas on health or environmental grounds.
The health advocacy group ElectromagneticHealth.org says it is essential for that section of the Telecom Act to be repealed. The hearing is being live streamed on the FCC website.
get more stories like this via email
Voting advocates say more and more Michiganders are choosing to cast absentee ballots to save time and avoid long lines on Election Day. In 2020…
With the election a little over a month away, some say caregiving and long-term care are issues too big for candidates in Oregon to ignore. There …
Health and Wellness
COVID upended many routines, including Texas parents getting kids in for regularly scheduled childhood vaccines. Data from the Texas Department of …
Pennsylvania has a strong commitment to urban agriculture and community gardening, and some groups in the state are working to get more colorful …
Georgia Power is reducing its reliance on coal by phasing out several coal-fired units. However, clean-energy advocates say the company should …
A new report on Black students in the community college system found fewer are signing up to attend two-year schools, and the college enrollment …
Greenhouse gas emissions have been potentially reduced by 50,000 tons in the state, with the help of Wisconsin farmers supported by a statewide …
Social Security benefits again could see their highest increase in several decades, but those advocating for beneficiaries say there is still plenty …