Editor’s note: This letter to the News-Press was processed after today’s Voices section went to press. It is being published in today’s A section because of its time-sensitive nature. For other commentaries on a variety of issues, see the C section.
Several wireless broadband bills in the California legislature, including Senate Bill 556 and Assembly Bill 537, will severely limit our right to determine where new wireless antennas for 5G service will be placed in Santa Barbara County.
These antennas are not needed to improve phone service. They absolutely do not close the digital divide for the unserved and underserved populations. They’re not required for first responders or telemedicine.
Wireless broadband service is slower, less reliable, easier to hack and more expensive than wired broadband or fiber-optic-cable. The radiation they emit has been proven by the National Institutes of Health to cause cancer.
These bills are intended to boost telecom profits by fast-tracking the local approval process, making it easier and faster for telecoms to place their 5G antennas in our front yards, in residential neighborhoods, even if they might pose a fire or safety hazard, negatively impact property values or threaten the health of nearby residents.
Almost every state legislator supported these bills that place the interests of big business over the rights of citizens. These bills deregulate telecoms, demolish local control and cause harm.
Please join many Santa Barbara constituents, and email and call senators and assembly-members to urge them to oppose SB 556 and AB 537. We must protect our families, our privacy, safety, health and property by supporting local public officials, not the telecoms, to determine the placement of wireless telecom facilities.
Safe Technology for Santa Barbara County and Americans for Responsible Technology