Four Major Considerations for your City
First step, and top priority, is always to distinguish Title I (Information Services – Internet) and Title II (Telecommunications – Voice/Text). This is the LAW, confirmed in the 2019 Mozilla v FCC ruling in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
However, obligations to this Law are being shirked by local officials in Idaho, and need immediate gubernatorial instruction. Public officials in municipalities and most counties have disregarded this all-essential LEGAL DISTINCTION at the behest of industry interests.
Officials need to be instructed always to require wireless facility applications to state the purpose for the applied-for operations. In the application, provisions of frequency and antenna specs are certainly necessary, while the provision of purpose or intent, i.e., whether the operations are for internet or voice/text, is most legally essential.
This regulatory distinction must be immediately required throughout the State.
Title I is unregulated, meaning the local governance has the authority to deny the application on any basis or no basis at all. The 1996 Telecommunications Act (TCA) does not apply. This means the “effective prohibition” and preemptive clauses do not apply. Where a local government is presented with the broadband choice of wireless or fiber-optic cable to the premises (FTTP), it should always choose FTTP, since it is the best engineering, with the fastest, most reliable and secure, least hackable, most energy-efficient conveyance of broadband. By contrast, wireless is poor engineering that is unreliable: during emergencies such a electrical outages, it will not function after generators run out. Wireless connections and lack of wired connections resulted in many unnecessary deaths in last year’s Norther Calif fires, for which reason PG&E has just plead guilty to widespread homicide. Therefore it behooves Idaho to require FTTP – at minimum, for safety.
Note that FTTP is:
1) by far faster and superior service in every way to wireless;
2) free from destruction by external elements such as fire, flood, and weather events such as lightning strikes and high winds;
3) protective of privacy; and
protective against effective radiation weaponry
Title II is regulated, meaning that the TCA, its “effective prohibition” and preemption clauses do apply.
Second, but just as essential, priority is to determine whether a WTF (Wireless Transmission Facility) is needed.
Where an applicant has no need, it has no right under TCA.
If a wireless application is for Title I internet service, and that service is better provided by FTTP, then FTTP must be the choice. FTTP is not expensive, in that its infrastructural build-out has already been paid for in the amount of nearly $500 Billion by way of an additional fee in every phone bill of any type since the early 1990s. In fact, billions of dollars are due back to each state’s public utility commission as a result of wireless companies’ cross-subsidization fraud, per The Irregulators v FCC, which case received a ruling in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on March 13, 2020.
This means that no Title I wireless internet service is needed. And almost areas of Idaho already have fiber-optic cable and/or DSL cable.
Title II voice/text facilities can be determined to be needed or not needed by way of Need Tests, wherein either informal and/or professional, independent tests of recorded audio take place at and near the location of the applied-for facilities. Such tests are necessary in order to establish whether or not there is a need. Thus, gubernatorial guidance should direct that Need Tests be required alongside every Title II application.
Where need has been established, the VHP – Vertical, Horizontal and Power – characteristics need to be assessed in view of FCC’s rules and any further requirements a locality may have established in its ordinance. Note that the operations of wireless facilities remain entirely within the hands of state and local officials, despite the wireless industry’s 1995 attempt to preempt them.
Where a facility is permitted, it should include, per ordinance requirement, equipment paid for by the permittee, including a Fuse to regulate the Power, a Filter to remove the transients, i.e., dirty electricity that such facilities impose upon a municipality’s electrical wiring, and a Fiber-optic sharing box, so that neighbors may choose to use this cable rather than the wireless radiation to access service.
Title II voice/text facilities can be determined to be needed or not needed by way of Need Tests, wherein either informal and/or professional, independent tests of recorded audio take place at and near the location of the applied-for facilities. Such tests are necessary in order to establish whether or not need exists. Thus, gubernatorial guidance should direct these Need Tests to be required alongside every Title II application.
All above-ground wireless facilities need to include in their applications proof of safety as criterion for permitting. Nothing shall be allowed by simple administrative “approval”.
Since the large wireless carriers pass along their liability to the smaller franchises that act as applicants, all applicants must be required in the application to show proof of liability insurance coverage and asset adequate for coverage. The residents of Idaho must no be held holding the proverbial bag when the shell insurance companies that the wireless industry routinely sets up go bankrupt at the first claim. In order to establish positive identification, applicants must not present as a dba, and must be required to list the corporation’s Board of Directors.