As technology continues to advance society forward with better smartphones, smart appliances, and cars that can drive themselves, satellite broadband internet is one of those technologies raising more questions. This is the case in Bonner County where citizens have raised objections to the placement of what is called “satellite broadband” that is designed to provide faster internet speed.
One individual investing in this newer technology is Elon Musk who has been launching “Starlink” internet satellites into space through his SpaceX program. In order for these satellites to work efficiently, thousands will need to be launched into space. Musk hopes to make lots of money off this venture but it is the taxpayer paying for his fun. Through the FCC Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, Musk will receive $886 million over the next 10 years, but not without objections. For consumers, it will cost $499 for the Starlink kit that includes a tripod, WiFi router, and terminal that connects to the satellite, plus an additional $99 per month. On this map, one can see how many areas he and other businesses have invested in this technology in Idaho (Space Exploration Technologies Corp is SpaceX). As noted by the FCC, “Providers are incentivized to buildout to all locations as fast as possible.”
Jessica Rosenworcel is an American attorney currently serving as a member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). By her own admission, this new technology brings specific problems including a lack of a regulatory framework, the challenge of orbital debris, and the FCC not having a seat at the table with other federal agencies on space activity.
Authorization for SpaceX was granted by the FCC in 2018 to provide global internet connectivity in the Ka (20/30 GHz) and Ku (11/14 GHz) frequencies. Once installed, public beta testing began in Washington with the state’s military and emergency responders and more recently with beta testers in Idaho. Given its infancy, at this time good connections and latency can be a problem including outages.
These satellites transmit with antennas on the ground and fly so close to earth they can be seen in the sky. This technology has been launched across the world, but efforts to do the same in some countries are being met with opposition such as France due to concern over safety issues.
While at this point these satellites are not 5G and not considered a radiation hazard, they are being built out for new 5G networks which will contribute to data collection, sharing of data, and connectivity between devices. SpaceX is one of the companies working on 5G capability. Risks that come with 5G satellites include collisions, orbital debris, radio-frequency interference, and diminished sky observations. The military will even auction off large portions of spectrum for 5G and the Department of Defense relies heavily on 5G for its ability to collect and share data.
Citizens in Bonner County have expressed their outrage over the installation of these antennas. Commissioners Steven Bradshaw, Jeff Connolly, and Dan McDonald have denied the Conditional Use Permitting process that would have provided for safety testing. Efforts to obtain information about this issue, how decisions were made, have been blocked by a non-disclosure agreement. What is being hidden? Do citizens not have a right to know about any activity they feel poses a possible threat to their health and well-being? Questions have been raised, not only about potential effects on health but also on survival of the bee population. Many peer reviewed scientific studies have been conducted on the effects of microwave radiation (5G with ongoing concerns being expressed), but a review of studies on 5G by Tom Butler PhD, University College Cork, Ireland concluded that the effects of 5G have not been adequately studied and indeed health risks from 5G do exist.
Curiously, there is now a bill in the Idaho legislature that addresses the issue of satellite broadband installation. SB 1149, sponsored by Sen. Doug Ricks and Rep. John Vander Woude, would add to existing ID Code Title 50 Chapter 3, law powers and authority to local governments on broadband infrastructure and systems. Even though this bill references Title 50 Chapter 3 which is limited to municipalities, it expands the definition to include “”Municipality” means any county, incorporated city, or port district within the state of Idaho.” That does not appear to be legal, a bill expanding an Idaho statute definition.
Also omitted in this bill is citizen consent for these satellite technologies. So the question becomes, was the installation of these antennas in Bonner County legal as there is no Idaho law that supports that authority? The “SpaceX Colburn Gateway” (pg 5) is listed as the location for his fixed earth station, but Colburn isn’t a city. Why have the legislators chosen municipalities for authority, to cover this error? And why aren’t counties included as having authority? Musk’s temporary FCC license application called for eight technically identical 1.5-meter antennas. So why have nine been installed? The FCC commission also calls for less than 450 people near the installation, which was shown by Save Selle Valley to be incorrect. Why is the FCC concerned about how many people are near these installations, if they are so safe, and why is there a warning sign about human exposure?
Another bill, HB 127, with Representative Megan Blanksma as the contact, has been introduced this legislative session which would establish an Idaho Broadband Advisory Board and an Idaho Broadband Fund. Nine members, with three “Governor appointed” public members, would be tasked with developing, implementing, and maintaining a statewide broadband plan. The fund would accept legislature allocated funds and then be distributed to the statewide plan. And just how much money will be allocated to that fund? More government growth and financial burdens for citizens. This fund would provide financial assistance for broadband infrastructure to promote access, public safety, telehealth, and education. That implies education would continue online? The worst aspect of this bill? The board would have the authority to determine which broadband projects would be undertaken, completely removing all local jurisdictional authority. Clearly those decisions should be at a local level, not by nine people for the state. It is also in conflict with SB 1149 which gives authority to municipalities. Both bills conflict with citizen representation and self-governance.
So where is this drive for 5G coming from? Looking down that rabbit hole, naturally, Governor Little supports the intrusion of broadband internet into Idaho as he supports the Western Governors Association (WGA) Reimagining the Rural West Initiative for rural broadband, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and overall agenda for more broadband, especially for rural areas. In fact, he is so devoted to broadband, by executive order he created the Idaho Broadband Task Force. How convenient that this task force is comprised of “internet service providers, satellite providers, cellular providers, and other industry experts along with university, tribal, legislative, state, county and municipal representatives.” Would those “public members” for HB 127 be his corporate buddies from this task force? Governor Little “accepted” this group’s “recommendations”. Is this not full blown corporatism? Where are the citizens in his scheme who should have authority over local decisions? Governor Little is also a member of the National Governors Association (NGA), which partners with many corporations that financially support it. How many deals do those corporations glean from these government relationships?
Actually, the push for 5G comes from the World Economic Forum (WEF) and its 4th Industrial Revolution agenda (4thIR), and Musk’s contribution to this agenda is noted. Global corporations from different sectors such as banking, media, pharmaceutical, agriculture, and the government, partner with the WEF and are tasked with implementing WEF objectives. Several NGA corporate partners are also WEF partners, all with the same objectives.
5G is seen as the technology of the 4thIR, having the capacity to collect and share data through the Internet of Things (IoT). Connecting devices together is essential for data collection and sharing, and 5G makes that happen. Once that data is collected it will be shared for its use in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create algorithms that the WEF believes will solve world problems. The 4thIR is seen as a way in which to create a “fundamental change in the way we live, work and relate to one another”. It is more than just giving us a faster way to download information and view videos. It is a globalization of everything and the WEF is keeping an eye on this “space internet race”.
The WEF launched its Great Reset Initiative and many elected officials support it, even the National Governors Association in which Governor Little is a member, having shared corporate partners. Fundamental to this Great Reset is the implementation of 5G because of its ability to use the internet in connecting all devices for IoT. A Strategic Partnership Framework was signed between the WEF and United Nations for the specific purpose of funding and implementing the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. This is essentially the drive behind installation of 5G, to implement both the Great Reset and Agenda 2030. Anyone who doubts this need only to look at the links provided. Any elected official that participates in the installation of 5G is contributing to globalization. It is also why defeating both SB 1149 and HB 127 is so critical.
Careful thought must be entered into this, regarding Idaho’s participation in this globalization agenda which must be demanded by Idaho citizens. Is this how we want to turn our sovereignty over, to a global corporate entity that has one goal in mind and that is to take our data in order use it to control our lives? With 5g the WEF plans to change our food production, healthcare, education, work, banking, and a host of other issues.
Idaho citizens, tell your legislators you strongly oppose SB 1149 and HB 127 and tell them that anything that includes the installation of 5G shall require citizen approval. Furthermore, tell the Bonner County Commissioners that their participation in globalization is unconscionable. Finally, let Governor Little know that his participation in organizations that also promote globalization is deplorable!