Fiber First Idaho

Everyone in Idaho Deserves Fiber Optic Broadband!

There are two types of broadband connections: hardwired and wireless, and the best kind of wired broadband is hardwire fiber optic.  Compared to fiber optic, wireless is slow, expensive, unreliable, easier to hack, prone to fires, not able to handle future speed requirements, and not yet proven safe.

The federal government prioritizes end-to-end fiber optic projects because fiber optic is superior to wireless. Everyone agrees and understands that communities in Idaho deserve access to the reliable, affordable, safe, high-speed internet connections we already paid for!

 What’s wrong with Wireless Broadband?

Law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled on Aug 13, 2021 that the FCC failed to consider the non-cancer evidence regarding adverse health effects of wireless technology   when it decided that its 1996 radiofrequency emission guidelines protect the public’s health.

Not one dollar of tax payer money should be invested into wireless broadband until there is substantial written evidence proving the FCC completed the court mandated work in these two cases: CHD/EHT et al. v FCC, Case #20-1025. (D.C. Cir). and Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians v. FCC, Case #18-1129, (D.C. Cir.)

 

Access

Individuals who cannot be around Wireless RF Radiation must have the ability, as a matter of right, to obtain wired (fiber-based) broadband. Discriminating against vulnerable populations, such as those with EMS, is unconscionable and is not consistent with the goal of achieving “diversity, equity and inclusion.”  The state of Idaho should do everything in its power to halt any further discussion of expanding wireless services, recognize this specific problem and take special measures that are within its duty/regulatory authority to effectively address it and use fiber as an alternative.

Idaho needs to prioritize fiber to the premises (FTTP) solutions. The goal should be to bring fiber as close to the user as possible, to use a copper tail for short distances where necessary, and to resort to wireless technology as a last resort due to health implications of wireless. There must be an allowance for RF-free “safe zones” in public spaces and buildings to ensure inclusion in public life.  Click See the Advocates For The EMS Disabled plea to the FCC.

 

Public Utility

Broadband internet should be a true public utility.  Not a publicly funded, privately owned utility.  The state should fund and control fiber optic trunk lines along the state highways.  Counties and cities should to be responsible for funding and controlling their local broadband network infrastructure.  The taxpayers of Idaho must own and maintain control of their fiber optic broadband network.  Local municipalities can allow private service providers to manage the end user service contracts and connections. See the City of Eagle’s Community Owned Fiber Optic Infrastructure Goals.

 

Dollars

Cost

Basic wireless broadband services are often cheap to start (around $25), but come with slow upload and download speeds. Prices go up quickly if you have many devices and need more speed. Wireless networks will require expensive upgrades in the near future as data demands increase.

Over time, fiber optic will prove to be much more economical, with an investment return within 5 – 10 years. With billions of federal dollars now available for fiber optic broadband networks in underserved areas, fiber is more affordable for Idaho than ever before.

 

 

Speedometer

Speed

Fiber optic connections can be anywhere from 30 to 1,000 Mbps or higher, up and down. 4G fixed wireless systems are usually about 5-12 Mbps for download, and 2 to 5 Mbps upload.

5G wireless is available in some limited areas, but 5G signals are easily blocked by walls, trees and even rain. Upload and download speeds are faster, but the service may not be reliable.

Fiber optic is clearly superior to wireless from a speed perspective. Let’s make sure everyone gets the fiber optic broadband they deserve!

 

Save the Planet

Climate

Fiber optic networks are the most planet-friendly, energy-efficient of all the available access technologies, requiring almost no power to carry signals at lightning speed.

Wireless networks, on the other hand, require significant power for each transmitting antenna. 5G is estimated to double the energy requirement of current 4G technology once implemented. And the massive number of new antennas required to support 5G means massive increases in energy use.

Idaho doesn’t need to increase our energy footprint by fast-tracking wireless networks. Let’s protect our planet by making sure everyone has access to fiber optic instead!

 

Wildfires

Fire

Wireless is a fire risk.  Why increased forest fire risks Idaho when there is a better option.

Three recent major California wildfires have been linked to telecommunications equipment. These include:

  • Malibu Canyon Fire (2007) – hundreds of millions in property damage

  • Woolsey Fire (2018) –$6 billion in damages in Malibu & throughout Los Angeles County.

  • Silverado Fire (2020) – merged with a second fire in Irvine and caused the evacuation of 130,000 people with significant property loss.

Medical Checkup

Health

Wireless communications use radiofrequency (RF) radiation to convey signals back and forth. There has been no pre-market safety testing of any of the wireless devices we use every day. The Food and Drug Administration, charged with assessing the safety of electronic devices, has never conducted a rigorous scientific analysis of the health risks. The current human exposure standards for RF radiation were established back in the 1980s by engineers, not medical professionals.

Recent studies by a division of the National Toxicology Program confirmed the ability of RF radiation to cause cancer in lab animals. Thousands of other studies confirm these findings, but no further testing has been ordered.  For the most uptodate information see the State of New Hampshire 5g Final Report, and the Environmental Health Trusts List of Peer Reviewed Published Research on Cell Tower Radation

We strongly recommend that families take precautions to avoid unnecessary exposure to RF radiation, and tell the Idaho’s Broadband Task Force that we want safe Hardwire Broadband not Wireless!

 

Bee on a Daisy

Nature

Scientists have proven that radio frequency (RF) radiation can be absorbed by birds and insects, raising internal temperatures, interfering with reproduction and navigation, or triggering other responses. This has dramatic implications for our natural world as purveyors of wireless technology push ahead with their plans to blanket the country with powerful antennas.  See how a cell tower in Eagle, ID decimated a farmers bee hive.

Pollinators in particular are vital to the economy of Idaho and we should not be spending taxpayer dollars to interfere with the ability of bees and other pollinators to do their work.

 

 

Technical Info

For the technical information download the below report from the non-profit Benton Institute for Broadband and Society:

Fixed Wireless PDF

Call To Action!

The Idaho Broadband Advisory Board is meeting Thursday, Nov 10th, 2022, to discuss the future of Broadband in Idaho.  Please send the Board an email and let them know where you stand on the issue of Hardwired (Fiber) Broadband vs Wireless Broadband!  Make sure to attach a link to this post and let them know you support Idahoans for Safe Technology.

Email:  info@commerce.idaho.gov, cody.allred@commerce.idaho.gov, idahoansforsafetechnology@gmail.com