Fiber Optics to the Premises is the Faster, More Secure Energy-Efficient, Environmentally-Friendly Choice

The best plan for the City of Tucson is Fiber Optics to the Premises (FTTP): fiber optic cables to every home that would provide uncapped data download speeds of 1,000 Mbps. Fiber is the most energy-efficient, reliable, secure, safe and democratic way to offer broadband service. With fiber, individual households can choose if they want to run wireless in their homes via Wi-Fi or not.

Just as many people choose not to smoke cigarettes in their homes and are barred from doing so in public spaces, many residents likewise choose not to run Wi-Fi and opt-out of so-called “Smart Meter programs”. Forcing 24/7/365 grossly-underregulated power levels of pulsed, data-modulated, Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR) through one’s home from the curb is unconstitutional and undemocratic. No city would dream of forcing second-hand cigarette-smoke into their residents’ homes 24/7/365 . . . and shouldn’t force harmful RF-EMR from excessive wireless signals (anything that exceeds -85 dBM in Wireless Signal Strength). The two examples identical in both lack of freedom and hazard.

The following is a short list of asks for City Councils:

A. Purpose

To sufficiently regulate the maximum power output of so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (sWTFs) at to no higher than -85 dBm in order to preserve public safety and the quiet enjoyment of streets.

B. Outcome

Pass two small ordinances and tighten up sWTF application requirements.

1. Place and construct Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) ONLY WHERE NEEDED per the WE-WANT-IT Ordinance: Written Evidence– Wireless Antenna Need Test–In Telecommunications, which includes the following:

  • Require every six months: a Comprehensive Wireless Signal Strength Test by an independent RF Engineer, who will do the following:
    • Log, second-by-second, the Wireless signal-strength levels in dBm (decibel-milliWatts) of every carrier-specific licensed and unlicensed wireless frequency/channel/band for which they hold a license that is being transmitted to the streets of our cities.
    • The full data file for each WE-WANT-IT test will be placed in the public record for anyone to view, analyze and verify
  • The RF Engineer will be hired by City and the test cost will be paid by Wireless industry based on Carriers’ pro-rata share of Total Maximum Power Output Capability of all antennas currently operating in our cities.

2. Regulate SAFE Placement with The VHP Ordinance: Cap the maximum allowable effective radiated power from sWTFs and install fuses on each sWTF; if a fuse blows because a safety limit is exceeded, charge a policing fee and gain funds for the City. Regulate the following:

  • Vertical = # feet off the ground
  • Horizontal = # feet away from homes, schools and parks
  • Power = Total Maximum Power Output Capability of all antennas on a sWTF

3. Tighten up sWTF Application Requirements:

  • Require substantial written evidence of dBM signal strength, establishing if there is a telecommunications service NEED for any proposed antenna
  • Require substantial written evidence of NEPA review, because each sWTF requires NEPA review, per the FCC

4. Require Insurance:  Require substantial written evidence of sufficient insurance (without a EMF/RF-EMR pollution exclusion) to cover future claims of injury, illness or death from EMF/RF-EMR exposures (EMF = Electromagnetic Fields; RF-EMR = Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation

C. A Good Plan

  • Required: 60-Minute In-Person Meeting or Zoom Conference with City staff: representatives from City Manager, City Attorney, Planning Dept. Public Works Dept. and six well-informed members of the public
  • City Council Study Session: 20-minute presentation by City Staff and 20-minute presentation by the public, followed by public comment
  • (Optional) Create a WE-WANT-IT Committee of ten: two City Council members, two City staffers, two Wireless industry reps, two non-Wireless industry RF-EMR experts, two members of the public
  • Required: Finalize language for WE-WANT-IT & VHP Ordinances and the additional application requirements and set for vote as an agendized item.