A significant number of rooftop antenna sites owned primarily by wireless carriers exceed FCC public and occupational exposure limits, make it impossible for workers to avoid standing in front of antennas, and are inadequately posted with warnings and barriers. The people who measure RF radiation levels at broadcast and wireless sites have known this for years. Now a lot more people are getting the message, and it’s put the FCC (already smarting from the LightSquared debacle) in the position of trying to explain why it isn’t enforcing its own rules in the case of wireless carriers, all the while regularly nicking broadcasters for trivial infractions like not announcing their call sign at the top of the hour. Not a single fine has been levied by FCC against a wireless carrier for exceeding the limits.
The issue came to light last month when a group called the EM Radiation Policy Group sent out a press release announcing the results of work it had conducted to “unimpeachably” show that these problems exist, that the FCC ignores them, and that perhaps, just perhaps, it was because wireless carriers are good customers. That is, wireless carriers have added tens of billions of dollars to federal government coffers by buying the one thing the FCC has to offer: spectrum.
I have somewhat mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, the FCC does seem to be clueless many times, about things they should be expert at understanding. Examples such as the LightSquared fiasco, and the TV "white space" impending fiasco, are obvious examples.
On the other hand, I'm not sure just how much of an issue this 6X over limit measurement really is. I assume they're talking about those clustered cellular base stations we see on top of buildings. Inside the building, where people work, I'm not sure whether the levels are any higher than at home, with WiFi and cordless phones, or on the train, where every Tom, Dick, and Harry sitting close by is mindlessly texting or otherwise busy transmitting low power RF just inches or feet from you.
The inverse square law is what applies to point sources such as these. Power density drops off quite rapidly as distance increases. Use of the term "600 percent" seems tailor-made for engendering that "ooooh aaaaah" reaction.
Yes, another government agency that services the abusers of the system and abandons the average citizen to the unknown risks of EM levels.
I thought these agencies were set up for the public safety!
Another example on how the government no longer serves a purpose in our modern society.
Just my opinion.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.