Wednesday, July 20, 2016

FCC Open Letter Calls for Moratorium on New Commercial Applications of Radiofrequency Radiation

Today the FCC sent me a recommendation to submit my comments on the Spectrum Frontiers proposal (see July 11 open letter below) to an official proceeding on this issue.

What's the point since they already decided to approve the proposal? Besides they rarely ever process submissions to these proceedings (e.g., see

Date:      Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 3:39 PM
Subject: Re: CIMS00006050198 -- Moratorium -- FCC's Spectrum Frontiers Proceeding 5G

Dear Consumer,

Thank you for your e-mail to Chairman Tom Wheeler expressing views regarding Use of Spectrum Bands Above 24 GHz For Mobile Radio Services. On behalf of Chairman Wheeler, I want to assure you that your input will help inform the Commission's future decisions.

There currently is an open proceeding about this matter:  GN Docket No. 14-177, IB Docket No. 15-256, RM-11664, WT Docket No. 10-112 and IB Docket No. 97-95.  You may wish to add public comments to this proceeding's record.  If so, you can search for the proceeding and submit your comments though this portal:

We appreciate your reaching out to Chairman Wheeler and sharing your views about this issue.


FCC Votes Today on Opening Additional Wireless Spectrum for 5G

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service, July 14, 2016

The FCC will vote today on opening up more of the spectrum for new 5G wireless technology. 

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 says it is essential for that section of the Telecom Act to be repealed. The hearing is being live streamed on the FCC website.


FCC hails 'monumental' vote opening new spectrum for 5G and IoT

Grant Gross, Network World, Jul 14, 2016

"The US is the first nation to set aside spectrum for 5G services"

"The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted to open nearly 11 gigahertz of high-band spectrum to new wireless uses, hailing it as a "monumental step" that will greatly increase network capacity for 5G and the Internet of Things."

"The FCC on Thursday adopted new rules for spectrum above 24 GHz, in a vote that Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler described as one of the most important decisions commissioners will make this year.”

"The FCC's decision opens up 3.85 GHz of licensed spectrum and 7 GHz of unlicensed spectrum to new wireless uses. The new licensed spectrum is in the 28GHz and 37GHz bands, and the new unlicensed band is from 64 to 71 GHz.

In addition to opening up the 11 GHz of spectrum, the FCC will seek public comments on making use of another 18 GHz of spectrum in eight additional high-frequency bands." 


Open Letter to the FCC
July 11, 2016

Dear Commissioners:
In light of your upcoming vote on the proposed Spectrum Frontiers proceeding, I wish to draw your attention to the International EMFScientist Appeal. The Appeal, which has been signed by 220 scientists who published peer-reviewed research on electromagnetic fields and biology or health, calls for stronger regulatory standards for radio frequency (RF) emissions.

I also wish to remind you that the FCC has yet to act on NOI #13-84, "Reassessment of Federal Communications Commission Radiofrequency Exposure Limits and Policies," issued in 2013 and a similar NOI issued in 2003. The 2013 NOI has received more than 900 submissions--almost all call for stronger regulation of RF radiation. Links to key submissions can be found on my Electromagnetic Radiation Safety website.
Finally, the General Accountability Office issued a report entitled, “Exposure and Testing Requirements for Mobile Phones Should Be Reassessed” (GAO-12-771: Published: Jul 24, 2012. Publicly Released: Aug 7, 2012. The report made the following recommendations which have yet to be addressed by the FCC:

FCC should formally reassess and, if appropriate, change its current RF energy exposure limit and mobile phone testing requirements related to likely usage configurations, particularly when phones are held against the body. FCC noted that a draft document currently under consideration by FCC has the potential to address GAO’s recommendations.”
The FCC's RF standards were adopted 20 years ago. Many scientists believe these standards are obsolete because they do not protect the population from established, non-thermal risks from RF radiation exposure. Thus, to ensure public health and safety, the FCC should commission an independent review of the biologic and health research to determine whether the RF standards should be modified before allowing additional spectrum to be used for new commercial applications.

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley