Concern with 5G Poles in Riverside

Letter to the Editor

Your article, 5G Poles Crop Up in Riverside, cites only aesthetics, historic preservation, and property values as problems with wireless transmission facilities (WTFs).  Of primary importance, however, are safety and health, environmental health, and cybersurveillance, with loss of privacy.

Presently, Jacksonville has 140 WTF applications or permits pending.  Residents have analyzed 40 of these locations, finding the applications incomplete.  None cite their remote radio units (RRUS), which reveal facilities’ wattage – or effective radiated power (ERP) – which bears on the amount of microwave radiation penetrating homes, offices, schools, and bodies. None provide a calculated power density in any nearby occupied structure.  Yet several sites are only 100-200 feet from homes.

Per the 1934 Communications Act, ERP – or energy – must be minimized to that needed to perform a task – here, telephone (voice) calls and text messages: “In all circumstances . . . all radio stations . . . shall use the minimum amount of power necessary to carry out the communication desired.”  Yet these misnamed “small cell” facilities use macro cell power: up to 25 million times higher wattage than needed.  Lack of safety, meaning health and environmental damages from WTFs’ radiation, is well established in the voluminous scientific radiofrequency/microwave radiation literature, with ~25,000 Supreme Court-admissible studies. 

WTFs’ operations do not fall under Florida Public Service Commission or Federal Communications Commission (FCC) exclusive jurisdiction.  A municipality or county can regulate ERP to provide public safety, protect environmental health, preserve the quiet enjoyment of streets, and fulfill the purpose of the 1996 Telecommunications Act: “to promote the safety of life and property.”

None of the pending applications include a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review, which is required by federal law, but which FCC failed to obtain for this WTF deployment before it began, per the federal case Keetoowah v. FCC.  Safety, health, property, privacy, and freedom from warrantless surveillance are everyone’s rights under U.S. and Florida constitutions and laws. As demonstrated profoundly in recent months, local governments are responsible for the health and safety of their residents.

As to security, “A lot of folks hear about 5G and think that’s fantastic,” says Howard Marshall, director of Cyber Threat Intelligence at Accenture, but as 5G allows machines to communicate efficiently with other machines, the potential is raised for hacking phones and iPads. 5G’s dramatic expansion creates vulnerability due to short range, small antennas that become new hard targets with spectrum-sharing capability, “slices” of spectrum vulnerable to hackers.  Most importantly, 5G technology is susceptible to mobile network mapping weaknesses where criminals can gain access to information about the chip-maker, model, operating system and the baseband software version of smartphones, car modems or watches (

Jacksonville has the authority to regulate the operations of its WTFs. While capping the maximum power, the city can provide fiber-optic cable to the premises (FTTP), as Chattanooga, Tennessee, has done.  FTTP is the fastest, safest, most reliable, and secure, least energy-consumptive and wasteful communications technology. Together, we can create a safe city that is wiser than “smart.”

For references and resources, please email [email protected].


Lisa Lovelady

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)