UPDATE: Another Comedy routine, this time at City Hall

And the laughs keep coming. I’m afraid to ask what happened at the Minnehaha County Commission meeting this morning.

City Hall reassures us there are NO dangers in 5G, then this;

But, according to federal rules, health concerns about radiation and radio frequency emissions aren’t a valid reason for local governments to stand in the way of the expansion of 5G technology.

The Federal Communications Commission, though, says early indications are the technology poses no risk to the public, though there are no definitive studies due to 5G being in its infancy.

It’s kind of like we don’t know if the mushrooms are poisonous until the royal food tester eats one. Is this City Hall or an episode of Monty Python?

Oh, but the lack of transparency excuses are even funnier than the health affects;

And while claims that 5G technology is unsafe don’t ring true for TenHaken, his deputy chief of staff T.J. Nelson said even if they did the city couldn’t prohibit 5G expansion if it wanted.

“Part of 1996 Telecommunications Act … preempts local government from regulating wireless communications on the basis of environmental effects of radio frequency emissions,” he said.

So if that is true old wise one TJ, what does this mean;

That’s why City Hall is moving ahead with an ordinance proposal to establish licensing and fee requirements for companies like Verizon Wireless that want to install 5G towers in public right of ways that are in line with FCC guidelines.

How can City Hall move forward with ordinances if #1) they have to follow the FCC’s rules and #2) Had no public input and #3) No input from the city council and #4) No public meetings?

Oh, and BTW, only 3 city councilors reached out to me about my email. Two by phone and one by email. All three of them told me they feel like they are bound by the Feds rules, and I get that. So if that is true, how can you have local regulations on the books if the FCC overrides them?

No sure if this is some kind of a sick joke, but it’s not funny, even if the messenger has a bad combover.

UPDATE: Here are some things we can expect, 




In addition to 5G, the city’s contract with Verizon calls for the company to provide free Wi-Fi in 27 of Sacramento’s parks; provide internship and career opportunity programs for area STEM students; utilize technology to improve public safety and improve traffic congestion at city intersections; and build multipurpose digital kiosks.

What’s in it for Verizon? As The Bee reported then, a memo in 2017 regarding the partnership said Verizon would get free use of 101 small cell towers for 10 years and low-cost rates for 5G cell locations when the technology goes commercial — as it will, officially, starting Monday.



#1 Scott D Hudson on 11.27.18 at 2:58 pm

Funny how windmills in Lincoln County were stopped due to superstitions and other silly bullshit but new technology is AOK without any testing.

#2 Greg Neitzert on 11.27.18 at 3:27 pm

I’ll provide my perspective for what its worth.
First, the FCC order relating to small cell including 5g deployments was issued recently. It is 116 pages, but it is quite readable and is repetitive to some degree. I’ve read the whole thing, but you can read the first parts or skim and get the idea.

Taking the health part first, besides the fact that as long as these devices meet FCC guidelines we cannot ban for a nebulous health concern, I would say for my part there is fear with every new technology. I would venture to say the phone I have against my ear every day probably is more of a threat to me than a small cell box up on a pole. In any event, there are some studies out there and so far there is no evidence it is a problem. Absent credible evidence, based on fact-based compelling research, I can’t find myself fighting against or fearing a new technology.

In terms of regulation –
The federal order certainly does not say that we cannot regulate. In fact, it gives guidelines on how you can. It just lays out the limits to which we can go.
For example
1. We can have zoning regulations that deal with aesthetics. But they must be reasonable, concrete in their rules, and not create de facto bans.
2. We can charge a fee for carriers to use our poles, or put their own poles in the right-of-way (our choice to allow one or both but we have to allow one) – but the fees must be reasonable and capture our true cost – no price gouging for reasons set forth in the order. There are fee structures they lay out that a local government could impose that are preemptively allowable, so that we have guidance as to how much we could charge without running afoul of the rules.
3. We cannot discriminate based on the carrier. We have to treat each carrier equally. No favoring one over the other.
4. We can have times to review permits we approve for them and can have permits required, but they cannot be for excessive review periods, so that we cannot use stall tactics to slow down deployment. The order sets forth the time limits, called ‘shot clocks’ and when the clock starts (called ‘tolling the shot clock’).

There are a number of other rules in the order. We are not preempted to the degree that we cannot have regulations, in fact we can and are encouraged to. However, we have limits to what we can do and this order lays out where we would run afoul of those regulations.

The basic upshot is – the FCC findings and federal law says that deploying high speed cellular service through things like 5G is critical to economic development and other compelling interests. Local governments can create reasonable regulations to recover their costs and protect their communities. They cannot however create arbitrary rules, use it as a cash cow to bleed the carriers for revenue, and do things that stand in the way or impede the roll out of this new technology. As one example, the order lays out the example that if a big city who carriers really want to deploy in charged huge fees for the right to put poles in their city, that would drain the capital money the carriers have, thus delaying or outright stopping them from installing in the smaller cities and towns, where for example if NY charged 1 million dollars per pole, the rest of the country would be delayed in getting it to their city because the carriers only have so much money to do these roll outs, so they want to ensure one community cannot harm other communities without as much “pull” or desirability from getting the service.

Given that we cannot say no, and it is coming, but we can set reasonable regulations, and can at least recover our cost to having carriers use our light poles (which makes a lot of sense) or use the right of way to put their own poles, it is imperative we get regulations in place through city ordinance that would lay out the cost recovery fees, the permit process, and other reasonable rules that are within the bounds of the limits set forth by federal law and the FCC ruling.

Those interested can go here and read the order:

#3 Ljl on 11.27.18 at 4:02 pm

If you really believe you will be harmed by cellular signals, you should through away your microwave.

“5G” signals have been transmitted for many years now. I’m not going to waste my time explaining how it’s different on here.

Your typical liberal bullshit. Very little research in the facts and heavy on the drama.

#4 l3wis on 11.27.18 at 4:33 pm

Hey, conservative dipshit, there is NO research, liberal or otherwise because the antenna’s haven’t been used for very long. Research it yourself. While it is easy to say if they are harmful either way, their really isn’t enough research to back up either claim. That is my point. Imagine if the FDA just automatically put drugs on the market without R & D?

#5 l3wis on 11.27.18 at 8:11 pm

Greg, I’m glad to hear the city gets to determine some of the aspects of the regulations, but where has been the public input on those recommendations?

#6 Greg Neitzert on 11.28.18 at 12:25 am

We have not seen a proposal yet either. I and others asked that it come forward as an informational. I believe that is forthcoming, perhaps after the new year. I am not sure but perhaps it may need to go through IRAB first. I could see any combination of new design standards by resolution, ordinance changes or contracts with carriers, all of which would have to come through the council.
I’ve advocated s public presentation on what we can and cannot do, addressing the health question and then moving something forward. I’m hopeful that will be forthcoming. I dont anticipate things to happen until after the new year with other major topics on our plate and the holiday approaching.
This one is pretty much exclusively in the admins court, but I trust they are working on it. I thought a presentation on only what is. The rules, and health issue first without a proposal would be best to educate and then solicit feedback as we then bring something forward, but maybe it will come as one package. Not sure as of yet.

#7 Ljl on 11.28.18 at 8:37 am

No, these antennas have been used in other applications and frequencies.

Your out of your element Donny.

#8 Erica on 12.01.18 at 1:53 am

There is nothing good to come from 5g for the consumers and only the businesses selling it to the people. Security risks and health risks abound; many places already halting the implementation of it in their states or countries. This is NOT something we should be pushing for in the city.