The Michigan House of Representatives Energy Policy Committee Meeting
5G Wireless Technology Infrastructure Hearing
Part Three of Six
I share Thomas Jefferson’s opinion that the best government is the least government, and it is the job of the People to examine the actions of people set in high places to make sure that they act in accordance with the constitutional constraints that have been placed upon them. Right now, the people are doing a terrible job of oversight, and the public servants are doing a great job of taking advantage of our negligence.
I continue my analysis of The Michigan House of Representatives Energy Policy Committee hearing on the issue of the 5G Wireless Technology Infrastructure.
The next inquisitor, State Representative Steve Johnson R-District 72 finally (sort of) addressed the issue of health concerns, which was why many of us took time out of our busy day to come to this hearing in the first place. His question was with regard to whether a homeowner can make a request for a certain small cell to be moved away from their house.
Do you think Cubans are fighting for healthcare or freedom from Communism?
NOTE: Surely, Rep. Johnson jested. The concerned citizens of Michigan will not be happier if the alleged cancer-causing new technology is placed 10 feet away from our home, rather than only 5 feet away, I can assure you.
But, Mr. Slick AT&T Attorney assured us that “there is language in the bill, Page 15, lines 1 through 5, that allow … and this was something that was negotiated as part of the stakeholder group for this exact concern, umm, so that they can require the applicant to come forth with certification of compliance with the FCCs rules related to radio frequency emission from the proposed facility. Umm. So that the authority can bake right in to the actual application requirements that certification is required as part of your permit. Ah Umm, to deploy. Ah, does that answer your question Representative?”
The camera switched back to Rep. Johnson who had a classic deer-in-the-headlights blank stare, as he meekly nodded agreement that his question had been answered. NOTE: More campaign contributions, anyone?
Chairman Glenn asked, “The language would allow a city to do so, to require that, but would not require a city to do so, is that correct?
Mr. Slick AT&T Attorney answered by saying: “Mr. Chairman, it gives the discretion to the authority to require this, if they so choose.” NOTE: Which authority; what discretion; whose requirement? Move along; nothing here. No one challenged him.
NOTE: I have everlasting respect for Representative Gary Glenn, whose work in the private sector is unmatched in clarity, bravery and sound doctrine, and he is probably one of the best legislators in Michigan; but the bar has been set very low, and it seems he has been somewhat affected by that same seductive allure of political power that softens and recasts even the best among us.
Then Rep. James A. Lower, R-District 70 inquired about maintenance – how would it work when a city wants to do some maintenance to a street light that has equipment on it? Mr. Slick AT&T Attorney answered “there was … that an agreement that could be put right in the language in the permit for the collocation.” NOTE: Say what? The softball question was completely missed. Ball one.
Then Representative LaTonya Garrett D-District 7 asked, “Out of curiosity, I’m trying to figure out what’s trending now from a 4G that is different that is now causing our data to run slower? What are people accessing, what are they searching the web for that is causing the data to run slower which is causing us now to need to have access to 5Gs and then maybe like the minority chair said that 6Gs and 7Gs? What’s trending? Can you explain that and then also could you just tell us some of the issues with regards to zoning? And then I’ll come back as ask some more questions.”
Mr. Slick AT&T Attorney answered by saying that there has been a huge increase in mobile data minutes, so this is people streaming video on their mobile devices and people rely on their phones more than ever to do things now; it’s a replacement for typically what we used to do at our homes, and so this increase in mobile data usage has caused this capacity crunch, and you can’t create more spectrum; it’s a finite resource. You have mobile data minutes going up; you have more people on flat rate plans going up, and you have limited spectrum; and so you need something to do to deal with our customers and your constituents’ needs. He then turned to Rep. Garrett’s second concern about zoning by basically stating that this bill addresses permitted use in the public right of way and if you are outside of that right of way, you are going to go through the traditional zoning procedure that the local authority “may” have.
Rep. Garrett made a follow up request: “Provide me with some reasons authorities have indicated in preventing; why they would like to prevent small cells in their jurisdictions.”
Mr. Slick AT&T Attorney said, “It is not so much that they are preventing; that people have come out with a notion that I don’t want small cells in my jurisdiction, but that from a state policy perspective is: What can the state do to encourage this investment in the state and having a uniform process and fee structure is extremely useful for encouraging that investment.”
NOTE: Rep. Garrett asked about authorities (the people); Mr. Slick AT&T Attorney talked about people (the authorities), and the discussion concluded by deferring to “the State.” So, even though the people are the true authorities; our public servants and the Music Men of Technology seem to give that distinction to the State. This, in a nutshell, is what needs to be fixed, and this type of careful oversight might be just what the doctor ordered.
The Michigan House of Representatives Energy Policy Committee Meeting
5G Wireless Technology Infrastructure Hearing
Part Four of Six
The Michigan House Energy Policy committee meeting, addressing The Wireless Technology Infrastructure bills, was split into two sessions.
This was done because our public servants had “something else to do” in the middle of the first day back from the 3-day Memorial Day weekend.
As if the citizens who traveled from all over the State of Michigan didn’t have “something else to do” that might have precluded their standing or sitting around in Lansing all day long waiting for an important meeting to reconvene. And then the second half of the meeting could only go until 5 pm, because our public servants had somewhere else to go that evening.
NOTE: This meeting should never have been split into two sessions in the first place. If our government was in proper alignment, the meeting would have started early and continued throughout the day, until the end, even if that meant that our public servants had to reschedule their other afternoon meeting and/or they were going to be late for their scheduled con fab on Mackinac Island that evening. Yeah, that’s where they had to go for the remainder of the week – Mackinac Island – one of the premier vacation spots In Michigan.
NOTE: There is definitely something wrong with this picture.
These observations are small potatoes compared to the meat of the subject; however, they do set the stage for my overall opinion of the government we have formed seemingly of, by and for the public service class.
Next up was Representative Beth Griffen R-District 66, who was curious about different companies having collocation on the same poles. Mr. Slick AT&T Attorney used a lot of words to answer this question, but the final answer was no, due to interference and incompatibility.
Her next question was for the Music Men of Technology to give examples of how signal boosters are already being used, so we might understand where it is going and how it might help.
Mr. Slick AT&T Attorney gave an example of the University of Michigan football stadium, where how a DAS system works and that it is similar to how a small cell polygon would work in an urban setting.
Rep. Griffen then said that she would be remiss if she didn’t mention that there are farmers and businesses and families that work from home in her district … then she said … “this bill is not going to directly address underserved or unserved rural areas (a barrier to growth for them), and that they are losing house sales because of it. She just wanted to appeal to all of them in the room today … and she thinks technology is good, but at this point she encouraged them to keep going and keep reaching because it is to our advantage economically and quality of life to millennials to keep pushing out into those areas, so thank you very much.” NOTE: Ok, next.
Mr. Verizon Music Man interjected that “the federal government, last year, there was CAFF money and grant money put forth for a lot of the land line companies and … they are building out.” NOTE: Basically his point was that when the additional deficit spending of fiat money from the federal government was used to expand fiber optic coverage into rural areas, they would then be able to increase the potential cancer-causing wireless technology into those areas as well. Oh, great. In other words, let’s all get sick together. Thank you Mr. Verizon Music Man.
Then came the good Representative Beau Matthew LaFave, R-District 108 from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, who gave something of a warm welcome to “his friends in the telecommunications business.” NOTE: Why is it that our public servants have “friends” in the telecom business? Could it have anything to do with campaign contributions?
Rep. LaFave then mentioned that the Upper Peninsula State Fair held over a 7 day period in Escanaba was Michigan’s “only State Fair.”
NOTE: Small point, but not really https://www.michiganstatefairllc.com/faq.
Nevertheless, Rep. LaFave’s concern was that “being as he spends about 16 hours a day at the Escanaba State Fair, where just last year, while he was talking to people and explaining to them what goes on at the State Capitol, unfortunately he got a call from Michigan’s House of Representatives Speaker Tom Leonard, R-District 93. He tried to answer … wouldn’t work. He tried to text him back … he actually had to leave the facility to get to his Speaker.” He went on to lament that there was “no going on Facebook live, there was no posting videos of him or any of the kids or any of the really cool events; the Fair … the live auction for the youth couldn’t be live streamed, so small cells would enable, in my understanding of the bill, to offload some of that data, so you could actually get a text message at the UP State Fair,” and he thought, it would be beneficial from an economic development standpoint an investing in one of, I believe, the best facilities in the State of Michigan, which is our fairgrounds in downtown Escanaba, but making it so families when they come to that campground and when they come to the fairgrounds can actually be contacted by their colleagues, their bosses, or get in touch with their employees, so is it, umm, am I correct in assuming that a couple of small cells scattered through the facility would take down some of that demand and make it so that I would be able to get in contact with the good representatives of whether it be the 46th District or the 2nd?” NOTE: Due to the long-windedness of so many of these “good representatives,” with too often repetitive questions, this honest analysis is taking way too much time, as did the entire hearing (See Part Five of Six).
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.