back to article US comms watchdog's industry-friendly 5G rules challenged by fresh legislation

America's comms watchdog – the FCC – has controversially forced local governments to charge a flat fee for 5G cell towers. It's a move opposed by everyone except the mobile operators, and has been challenged by new legislation. On Tuesday, California Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) introduced HR 530, arguing that the regulator …

  1. Swarthy
    WTF?

    $270/year?!

    And the locality would have to maintain it? Jeez Pai, why not just go all out and call it $1/year, and the local gov't would have to send the receipt with a note saying "Thank you Sir, may I have another."

    I'm not sure how densely 5G masts can/should be packed, but a municipality would need about 400 cell sites to pay for one tech to maintain 'em (and the tech's boss); and that's only if the maintenance is exclusively remote admin (no hardware or travel costs). In places like NYC or San Francisco, they would need a lot more sites if they want the tech to live within an hour of the city.

    FSM help us if their were a city-wide weather event (lightning/ice storm or hurricane), the city would be rolling out 6G before the poor schleb finished replacing the damaged 5G masts.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: $270/year?!

      "I'm not sure how densely 5G masts can/should be packed"

      5G trades range for increased capacity and bandwidth, and 5G cells need to be packed much more densely than existing cell tech.

      (This is from 5G: The Density Question, which has more comprehensive information)

      "Qualcomm Inc. has been comparing the coverage of prospective 28GHz 5G small cells and unlicensed 4G Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) 5GHz small cells, which don't offer as much transmit power as traditional 4G macro cell deployments. The chipmaker finds that mmWave networks will offer 96% of the coverage of the 4G networks if the 5G small cells are deployed at a range of around 100 meters to 200 meters apart, said Peter Carson, senior director of product marketing at Qualcomm."

      Qualcomm was talking about mobile cells. For fixed-cell, Verizon reports:

      "[...] downloads of more than 1.4 Gigabits per second to nearly 600 Megabits per second at a distance of up to 1,000 feet. At distances of between 1,000 feet to 2,000 feet, the download speeds drop to just below 1.4 Gbit/s down to just above 400Mbit/s. Beyond connection ranges of 2,000 feet, the top download speeds are listed at just over 1 Gbit/s. One thousand feet to 2,000 feet correlates to 300 to 600 meters,"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: $270/year?!

      Pretty sure that "maintain" in this case means all the paperwork, not that they are required to have a tech who will go out and service it when it breaks. Obviously it isn't the property of the local government, there's no way they can force them to pay to fix something that isn't theirs when it breaks.

      Paperwork meaning stuff like filing away applications for the sites, perhaps yearly nspection to verify that the hardware installed is what is listed on the application and that it is FCC approved, that sort of thing.

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

        Re: $270/year?!

        Due to the density needed, a lot of the sites are expected to be on existing urban structures (lamp posts and the likes), which are local authority property; that means increased maintenance costs for the municipality.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When does it qualify as treason?

    You are obviously working against the best interests of the people for whom you are supposed to protect. You are obviously nothing more than a mouthpiece for the corporations from whom you are supposed to be regulating. You have done & are doing your utmost to gut & neuter the very organization that others have tried for so long & so hard to build up to a point where it can do the most good. So when does it qualify as a treasonus act punishable by something more than a mere slap on the wrist? When can we not only remove you from office but stand your ass up against a firing squad wall? At what point do we bend your worthless ass down over the headmans block & bring down the axe? Because Pai is just the first of many that obviously need pruning if the Tree Of Liberty is to remain standing & not allow the rot to spread...

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: When does it qualify as treason?

      Fortunately, in a world where little is clear, the treason question is easy to answer. In the US, treason is clearly defined by the constitution:

      "Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open Court. The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason."

      ("Giving aid and comfort" also has a very specific definition, and it is a bit different than the phrase implies in modern English)

      The only way any of this can be considered "treason" is if the purpose is to engage in war against the US or to help a nation engage in war against the US.

      What's happening at the FCC isn't remotely close to treason. What it actually is is corruption.

      1. FromTheRoot

        Re: When does it qualify as treason?

        Once you realise the exact same wavelength used for 5g communication, also doubles up as a wide range weaponised skin burner (only God knows what happens if the powers cranked up and a curther 6 years of development) O would not be surprised if this is the worst act of treason, its like placing nuclear bombs in every street.

        Look up the "Active Denial System" and youll find 5g boxes use the exact same frequency meaning these can turn your local area into a microwave that can be controlled remotely.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: When does it qualify as treason?

          I'm familiar with thing like the Active Denial System. The thing is that there's more involved with that than the frequencies used. There's also a requirement to be able to focus (there's a reason that those systems require a rather large antenna array) and the amount of power required is huge. Those systems have to be powered with their own generators.

          There is no obvious way you could take a 5G cell antenna and turn it into an ADS weapon.

      2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: When does it qualify as treason?

        "The only way any of this can be considered "treason" is if the purpose is to engage in war against the US or to help a nation engage in war against the US.

        What's happening at the FCC isn't remotely close to treason. What it actually is is corruption."

        Corruption at that scale is economic warfare and should for that very reason be considered treason with appropriate (capital) punishment.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: When does it qualify as treason?

          "Corruption at that scale is economic warfare"

          I detest Pai's FCC as much as anyone, but I seriously think this is overstating the case. But even if your characterization is correct, the blame really falls on Congress. Congress has the power to make the FCC behave differently, and they aren't.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When does it qualify as treason?

      Sorry, the "Tree Of Liberty" has been sold for firewood long ago.

  3. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

    Two words

    Regulatory capture.

  4. ChrisElvidge

    On the other side of the coin

    If local authorities are allowed to charge the telcos (say) $1000 per installation, that cost would probably be put onto the bills of consumers. Telcos will not lose money whatever the charge.

  5. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    "America's comms watchdog – the FCC..."

    We had a watchdog like that when I was growing up.

    Dad always maintained that dog would watch someone take everything in the place.

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