Has Guilderland taken steps to maximize compensation for new 5G cell towers and to delay their expansion?

To the Editor:

After reading your Feb. 21 article “5G is coming” I googled “how safe are 5G cell towers?” The answer is not very safe.

Scientific studies have linked RF [radiofrequency] radiation exposure to health problems such as cancer, DNA damage (especially in fetuses), and sterility in men. The longer and more powerful the exposure, the more dangerous it is.

The 30- to 50-foot tall 5G cell towers installed on light poles or the side or tops of buildings are more dangerous than current cell towers for two reasons. First, 5G operates at ultra-high frequency and ultra-high intensity, five to almost 20 times the gigahertz frequency of current cell towers.

Second, the shorter length millimeter waves (MMV) used in 5G cell towers do not travel as far or through objects as current cell towers do. To compensate for this, it is estimated a 5G cell tower will be needed every few hundred feet (two to eight houses apart) in a community.

Since RF radiation dissipates with distance, the closely spaced 5G towers will guarantee a more powerful and continuous (24 hours, seven days a week) exposure to RF radiation.

I next researched municipal banning of 5G cell towers. As your article states, the FCC, Federal Communication Commission, ruled that wireless companies can preempt local zoning laws.

Furthermore, the FCC instituted a 60- and 90-day approval “shot clock,” thus preventing any long-term delay in the approval process. The FCC also gave communities 180 days to establish aesthetic guidelines for new 5G cell towers (the deadline is in less than two months).

Finally, the FCC places a cap on the fee a municipality can charge to process applications and manage the right-of-way. These wireless industry benefitting FCC rulings may have been influenced by the estimated up to $90 million the industry spent on lobbying last year.

Other than establishing aesthetic guidelines and charging the maximum fee allowed for the processing application and managing the right-of-way, there apparently is little that a municipality can do to prevent the construction of 5G cell towers.

Has Guilderland at least taken these steps to maximize compensation for new 5G cell towers and to delay their expansion?

Charles Rielly


Editor’s note: See Feb. 8, 2019 editorial, “Without home rule, business alone will dictate technology’s future.”

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