5G: IS IT THE RIGHT SOLUTION FOR US?
ADDRESSING OUR CONNECTIVITY CHALLENGES
No doubt about it, we need to improve our connectivity in the Walton County area. Dropped calls, weak WiFi signals, and inconsistent internet access are regular occurrences in Walton County. We want to come up with a good strategy to fill our connectivity gaps so that we can support the needs of our residents and visitors. However, Scenic Walton is concerned about the rollout of 5G as a possible solution.
WHAT IS 5G?
Have you seen the new large black cylinders and boxes on or near telephone poles? These are 5G cell antennas and transmission boxes that will “pulse” potentially harmful radiation 24/7. These “small cells” will blanket our pedestrian pathways along the Gulf with modulated radio frequency microwave radiation (RF radiation) throughout our beautiful scenic byways, highways, and in residential neighborhoods.
This one is on the south side of CR 30A in Dune Allen:
HOW IS THIS ALLOWED?
The Florida state legislature passed “The Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act of 2017” that gave telecommunication companies unrestricted access to public rights of way, including the land in front of our homes, for these 5G small cell towers. The FCC is claiming this new technology is “safe” based on a 1996 study that involved 2G and 3G technology. There has been ZERO market research to determine if this new 5G technology is safe to humans and wildlife when exposed to 24/7.
WHY WE ARE CONCERNED CITIZENS
1.) Lack of local community input
Due to the state bill that was passed, our local municipalities have very limited input on the look, location and rollout strategy of the 5G small site polls. At Scenic Walton, we are concerned that this will significantly undermine our efforts of burying utilities.
2.) Human health & safety
In regard to 5G, there have been no pre-market studies and no long-term studies on its safety. Furthermore, an individual cannot “opt-out” of this technology.
What we DO know is that there are close to 6,000 scientific, peer-reviewed, research papers showing strong correlation between electromagnetic radiation and cancer, immune dysfunction, infertility, altered brain development, sleep and memory disturbances, and many other adverse health effects. A recent landmark study from the US Department of Health and Human Services concluded that there is “clear evidence” that radiation from cell phones causes cancer.
3.) Wild life risk
We live in one of the most biologically diverse areas in the United States. We are home to thousands of insect, bird, bat and bee populations. Birds, bees and bats are affected by human-made EMFs, disrupting their solar and magnetic navigation abilities, likely leading to the loss of some bees, butterflies and migratory bird populations.
EKLIPSE, a review body dedicated to biodiversity and the ecosystem, identified 97 EMF studies and concluded this radiation could indeed pose a potential risk to bird and insect orientation and plant health.
3.) Real estate value
Studies show that real estate prices drop by 20% when homes are too close to cell towers, antennas, and power lines. With full rollout of 5G, we could see these 5G poles in front of every 3 to 5 houses in residential areas since the county owns part of the land for utilities.
To have potentially hundreds of black poles down our scenic byways is going to clutter our byways and interfere with the area’s natural beauty. Our natural, coastal village will change.
Additionally, we live in a hurricane zone in the state of Florida. It's not uncommon to have high winds, tropical storms, storm surges and hurricanes. As a result, many of our utilities are buried underground in newer areas of development. Erecting these small cell sites goes counter to this strategy and could cause significant property damage.
5.) Personal choice & privacy
Finally, unlike a traditional cell tower, where a person can chose to live closer or further away from the structure based on his/her preferences, no one can "escape" these small cell sites. The entire neighborhood will be bathed in these frequencies 24/7, 365 days a year, whether they want to or not.
5G towers will know your daily behavior intimately. Anyone with access to your ISP’s cell tower data will be able to hone in on your exact location far more precisely than they can today under our 4G networks. If your mobile network sells your data, it will be much easier for data brokers and advertisers to see your current location and target more relevant ads to you based on your location.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
1. Contact local representatives and tell them:
We do NOT want 5G small cell antennas near our homes or businesses. Check out our FB page called Scenic Walton for sample letter or email us at email@example.com.
2. We need to raise awareness, and that’s just what we’ve been doing!
Go to local town meetings and voice your concerns. If these are already in your neighborhood, point them out to people and start a conversation. Educate yourself and inform others. The 4G networks of today use frequencies up to 6 GHz. By comparison, the new 5G will have extremely high microwave frequencies in the 25 GHz to 90 GHz range. Long-term exposure to these higher frequencies has never been tested, therefore 5G should not be rolled out.
5G IN THE NEWS….
“As a health care professional, I’m concerned about the long-term safety of 5G small cell technology. But as a 30A resident, I’m more concerned about the aesthetics of the poles. People come to 30A to unplug, not vice versa.”
- Dr. Josh Axe DNM, DC, CNS
Co-Founder, Ancient Nutrition, and owner of one of the largest natural health websites
Scenic Walton is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 755 Grand Boulevard, Suite B105, #202, Miramar Beach, Florida 32550