Upton, MA

Refuting Statements from Report on Potential 5th Generation (5G) Wireless Infrastructure in Upton, MA

  • April 14, 2023 Report submitted by David Brooks, with additoonal help from Steve Rakitin
  • Definition of propaganda :: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause.
  • Refutations from Wire America

Brooks/Rakitin Statement from page 1:

Health concerns; scientific consensus on current and new wireless systems and human health.

Summary: All licensed frequencies and exposure limits that can be deployed are based on decades of research on the biological and environmental effects of electromagne1c radiation. There are no proven or anticipated health hazards associated with currently licensed deployments.

Wire America: The statements above is simply propaganda; the statements are merely an old, tired story that is not backed up by cited substantial written evidence.

This Brooks/Rakitin statement is provably false:

“There are no proven or anticipated health hazards associated with currently licensed deployments.”

We have shared no “concerns”. We have shared substantial written evidence that proves that RF microwave radiation exposures that are compliant with current FCC microwave radiation guidelines result in significant biological harm to adults, children, animals, insects and flora. The following scientific evidence is part of the FCC’s and the U.S. Court of Appeals, DC Circuit records. Please find the links to 11,000+ pages of peer-reviewed, scientific evidence that Environmental Health Trust and Children’s Health Defense and others plaintiffs placed in the record: Vol-1, Vol-2, Vol-3, Vol-4, Vol-5, Vol-6, Vol-7, Vol-8, Vol-9, Vol-10, Vol-11, Vol-12, Vol-13, Vol-14, Vol-15, Vol-16, Vol-17, Vol-18, Vol-19, Vol-20, Vol-21, Vol-22, Vol-23, Vol-24, Vol-25, Vol-26 and Vol-27.

This scientific evidence has already been accepted by the U.S. Court of Appeals DC Circuit and served as the basis for the April 2019 ruling in Case No. 20-1025: Envtl. Health Tr. v. Fed. Communications Comm’n, 9 F.4th 893 (D.C. Cir. 2021), the ruling vacated portions of the Dec 2019, FCC Order 19-126 Targeted Changes to the Commission’s Rules Regarding Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields.

Please note: the Town of Upton has the obligation to deliver actual public safety to its residents, regardless of the state of the FCC RF microwave radiation exposure guideline.

Brooks/Rakitin Statement from page 2:

“5G refers to an integrated set of new data encoding and transmission methods to support end-to-end rapid, high-volume wireless telecommunications.”

Wire America: Note the use of the term “wireless telecommunications” in the statement above. Telecommunications service is the only service for which the wireless carriers may preempt local laws. Wireless carriers cannot preempt local laws to deliver wireless information service. That means that for any specific Wireless Carrier, if Upton residents can already make wireless outdoor phone calls on any frequency used by that Wireless Carrier, then preemption of local laws no longer applies.

Please find below the relevant definitions from Title 47 U.S. Code Section 153 Definitions:


(50) Telecommunications — The term “telecommunications” means the transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user’s choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received.

(53) Telecommunications service — The term “telecommunications service” means the offering of telecommunications for a fee directly to the public, or to such classes of users as to be effectively available directly to the public, regardless of the facilities used.

(24) Information service — The term “information service” means the offering of a capability for generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information via telecommunications, and includes electronic publishing, but does not include any use of any such capability for the management, control, or operation of a telecommunications system or the management of a telecommunications service.

In short, this means the following:

  • Telecommunications service = personal wireless service = Title I regulated service = covered service = the ability to make outdoor wireless phone calls that interoperate with telephones on the switched copper plain old telephone system (POTS).
  • Information Service = Title I unregulated service = broadband Internet, audio/video streaming texts, VOIP service and other Internet-based services.

Brooks/Rakitin Statement from page 2:

“The technology can service not just phones and other personal devices, but new technologies including smart vehicles and a range of Internet-connected devices, high-resolution video, virtual reality gaming, real-time remote control of mechanized equipment, and many similar applications.”

Wire America: The key word in the statement above is “can”, which is not “must.” One has to separate a desired business plan from the legislative intent of underlying statute, the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Once outdoor wireless phone call service is in place, no town can be forced to add additional infrastructure to support new wireless industry business goals. In short, doing so is 100% the town’s call, per the scheme of cooperative federalism upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005, CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES et al. v. ABRAMS (2005) Case No. 03-1601:

Congress initially considered a single national solution, namely a Federal Communications Commission wireless tower siting policy that would preempt state and local authority. Ibid.; see also H. R. Conf. Rep. No. 104-458, p. 207 (1996). But Congress ultimately rejected the national approach and substituted a system based on cooperative federalism Id., at 207-208.

Brooks/Rakitin Statement from page 3:

The demands of a town like Upton could be serviced for sometime by existing lower frequency networks, but we should be ready for mmWave because it is likely to eventually become a national standard.

Wire America: Whether or not “mmWave because it is likely to eventually become a national standard” is just a guess. To date, mmWave antenna installations proposed for utility poles in the public rights-of-way in residential zones has been a failure in the market for many reasons: it is unnecessary, it is opposed by residents who will not tolerate the construction of a 24/7 wireless surveillance grid where they live and it has not been a commercial success for the Wireless industry. One cannot base policy on best guess projections. The record shows that the Wireless industry is primarily upgrading existing Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) to use frequencies from 600 MHz through 3900 MHz. There is no need for so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (sWTFs) in residential zones.

Brooks/Rakitin Statement From Page 3:

The following Brooks/Rakitin statements are misleading and false:

  • Less energy is used by the target device because it is closer to the antenna.
  • Less energy is emitted by the antenna.
  • Nearby devices – and bystanders – are not impacted by the energy received or emitted by a nearby personal device

Wire America: The correct comparison is the energy consumption of a fiber-optic based wireline broadband network (extremely efficient) vs a wireless broadband network (extremely inefficient). Many comparisons have been made, including by Timothy Schoechle, PhD (he says wireline broadband is 10x to 100x more efficient) and he concludes:

“Government officials have been misled about the adequacy of wireless communications. Legislators should stop enabling the wireless industry’s plans for massive new deployments of 4G LTE and soon 5G millimeter wave antennas throughout American neighborhoods, and instead commit to supporting reliable, energy-efficient and enduring hard-wired telecommunications infrastructure that meets the nation’s immediate and long-term needs.”

Brooks/Rakitin Statement From Page 4:

“In short: fiber is essentially wired. 5G is wireless”

Wire America: Correct. Wired is far superior for broadband. Wireless is for emergency phone calls when away from home. The Internet of things is unnecessary and dangerous to our freedoms and liberty. There is no law forcing the construction of infrastructure for the internet of things.

Brooks/Rakitin Statement From Page 4:

“Summary: US law and regulation constrain the procedures for authorizing deployment of telecommunications facilities, and interac1on between federal and local regulation. The regulations provide strict limits on the level exposure of humans and sensitive environments to all wavelengths of technologically deployed electromagnetic radiation. These standards are conservative, have been in use in many developed countries for years, and are frequently reviewed. In the US and many other countries, preempton at the national level means that local authorities may not impose more stringent limits . . . The small antennas are defined in 47 CFR 1.6002(l) which calls them “small wireless facilites” (“SWFs”). Regulations governing application procedures specific to SWF siting applicatoons are in 47 CFR 1.6001 – 1.6004 . . . “

Wire America: There are many problems with these Brooks/Rakitin statements.

Let’s start with Title 47 U.S. Code Section 324 Use of Minimum Power:

“In all circumstances . . . all radio stations. . . shall use the minimum amount of power necessary to carry out the communication desired.”

Every Wireless Telecommunications Facility (WTF), including so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (sWTFs) can be regulated by localities to use the “minimum amount of power necessary to carry out the communication desired “(i.e. the completion of an outdoor wireless phone call). Every WTF is a radio station because it requires a radio spectrum license from the FCC in order to operate.

The Wireless industry defines sufficient coverage to be between -115 dBm and -85 dBm in signal strength. Any frequency that is higher than -85 dBm in areas accessible to humans is excessive and can be restricted on that basis. Doing so will mean that the wireless signal strength will be sufficient for wireless telecommunications service and has no chance of approaching the FCC RF microwave radiation exposure guideline. You can learn more at https://wireamerica.org/wtf-report-card/

The FCC RF microwave radiation exposure guideline is inadequate and cannot be relied upon to deliver actual public safety. Read the August 2021 ruling in Case No. 20-1025: Envtl. Health Tr. v. Fed. Communications Comm’n, 9 F.4th 893 (D.C. Cir. 2021):

“. . . we grant the petitions in part and remand to the Commission to provide a reasoned explanation for its determination that its guidelines adequately protect against harmful effects of exposure to radio-frequency [microwave] radiation. It must, in particular,

  • (i) provide a reasoned explanation for its decision to retain its testing procedures for determining whether cell phones and other portable electronic devices comply with its guidelines,
  • (ii) address the impacts of RF radiation on children, the health implications of long-term exposure to RF radiation, the ubiquity of wireless devices, and other technological developments that have occurred since the Commission last updated its guidelines, and
  • (iii) address the impacts of RF radiation on the environment.”

We have been waiting for the FCC to complete this court-mandated work for nearly two years.

Brooks/Rakitin Statement From Page 5:

“Federal law explicitly pre-empts consideration by a state or local government of environmental (including health) concerns when regulating wireless facilities. This is spelled out in both 47 USC 332(c)(7)(B) and 47 CFR 1.1307(e)”

Wire America: The phrase “(including health)” is a false statement.

Title 47 USC 332(c)(7)(B)(iv):

“(iv) No State or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission’s regulations concerning such emissions.”

There is no mention of health in all of Title 47 USC 332(c)(7)(B). Also, the issue is not based on concerns, but based on substantial written evidence. See the links already provided, above.

Title 47 CFR 1.1307(e)

“(e) No State or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the regulations contained in this chapter concerning the environmental effects of such emissions.

There is no mention of health in all of Title 47 CFR 1.1307(e).

Brooks/Rakitin Statement From Page 5:

If a denial “has the effects of prohibiting the provision of services for any reason, the applicant has the right to sue immediately under paragraph (v) of that statute, which would of course involve the town in considerable expense.”

Wire America: The problem with this statement is it is missing the key modifier “telecommunications” before service. The statement is true only if substantial written evidence proves that a significant gap in telecommunications service (personal wireless service) exists and the reason block’s the applicant’s effort to close said proven gap in telecommunications service. Paragraph (v) does not apply to any other wireless service beyond telecommunications service. Also the notion of “considerable expense” is offered as a threat with no evidence. Such a trip to Federal court does not have to be expensive as no party can be awarded attorneys fees or punitive damages. Such a matter can be handle by the Town’s attorney.

Brooks/Rakitin Statement From Page 6:

“Federal regulation, 47 CFR 1.6003(d)(1), sets constraints on a municipality in permitting placement of SWFs. § 1.6003 Reasonable periods of time to act on siting applications.”

(a) Timely action required. A siting authority that fails to act on a siting application on or before the shot clock date for the application, as defined in paragraph (e) of this section, is presumed not to have acted within a reasonable period of time.

(b) Shot clock period. The shot clock period for a siting application is the sum of –

  • (1) The number of days of the presumptively reasonable period of time for the pertinent type of application, pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section; plus
  • (2) The number of days of the tolling period, if any, pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section

(c) Presumptively reasonable periods of time . . .

Wire America: WTF shot clocks are presumptive, but rebuttable, as upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court wrote in the 2013 ruling in Arlington v FCC:

“In November 2009, the [FCC], relying on its broad statutory authority to implement the provisions of the Communications Act, issued a declaratory ruling responding to CTIA’s petition. In the Declaratory Ruling, 24 FCC Rcd. 13994, 14001 . . . A “reasonable period of time” under §332(c)(7)(B)(ii), the Commission determined, is presumptively (but rebuttably) 90 days to process a collocation application (that is, an application to place a new antenna on an existing tower) and 150 days to process all other applications. Id., at 14005.”

Brooks/Rakitin Statements From Pages 7-10:

“In Mar 2020, after a review of the previous 20 years of research literature, the Commission revised its exposure recommendations. For the purposes of microwave [tele]communications, the previous limits were not changed . . . It is well established that the most significant effect of all electromagnetic radiation below the visible light range is to transfer its energy as heat . . . restrictions set based on the thermal effects will protect against any other effects that could occur at higher exposure levels . . . Limits on human exposure are based on detailed analysis of the threshold of any biologically significant effects on human health . . . no harm to human health, irrespective of age, has been reliably observed across the microwave spectrum, at intensities corresponding to regulatory limits . . . The idea that more base stations lead to higher exposures is also a common misconception . . . Educate the citzenry about the improvements in technology that will bring better, faster wireless communications without any impact on health effects and, in some cases, reduce radiation exposure.”

Brooks/Rakitin cite statements from the following organizations:

  1. The World Health Organization
  2. The IEEE International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety
  3. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  4. The National Institute of Health (NIH)

Wire America: These statements are simply wrong and are “ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause” (the definition of propaganda). This section requires more work for full refutation. Let’s discuss.