Thursday, September 29, 2016

Council, don’t sell us out for a value meal

Montgomery Co., MD
To:  Members of the Montgomery County Council PHED Committee
From:  Aaron Rosenzweig
First a word of appreciation:
Thank you for delaying the vote on the Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA 16-05)  thus sparing us, for the moment, from a large deployment of monopoles on our streets. 

Now answers to questions that the PHED Committee raised today:

1) Why 120 cell tower deployments within 30 feet of homes right now?  Why now?
Answer: It’s a race to be the first to place a hotel on “Boardwalk” in a game of Monopoly. If you can get your monopoles in, you can turn around and rent to Verizon and T-Mobile. If you wait, another company will get there first. 

2) Citizens demand this data usage right? If they didn’t, why would a telecom company spend the money and effort to erect these poles?
Answer: Money is there but usage is not justified. I guarantee, in every community where these monopoles are slated to be installed, they already have acceptable wireless phone signals. In each-and-every-location these citizens are not clamoring for a wireless fix. To be brutally honest, the opposite is happening. More people are starting to use their “wifi signal first” and their “cellular signal second.” In other words, citizens across the nation are utilizing their wired home Internet with unlimited Internet data usage for one flat fee instead of their cellular data plans. All the devices that telecom companies talk about from freezers to exercise monitors, the “Internet of Things,” can all communicate easily and freely over wifi. The money in these poles is based on speculation… very much like real estate speculation… such as buying a plot of land expecting it to be more valuable 10 years later when a new metro-rail is built, if it is built. Verizon and T-Mobile will pay someone, anyone, to navigate the legal and political quagmire to get these speculative monopoles installed. It’s money on the table now, up for grabs, whether citizens actually need the additional wireless infrastructure or not.

3) Wireless is the future is it not? We don’t want to be stuck buffering watching our videos correct? We must adjust with the times and expand our wireless speeds shouldn’t we?
Answer: Wireless is a cheap substitute for fiber. We already have a great wireless network capacity in all locations where these monopoles are to be installed. Wireless can never meet our desire for streaming movies, video chat, and gaming like fiber can. Fiber is the only “future proof” solution that can be buried under ground and utilized for decades to come. 

The only purpose monopoles can serve is as a “temporary” solution until fiber is rolled out to each and every house. That’s right, wireless is only a “temporary” fix. 

In rural Minnesota citizens have formed their own telecom company to bring high speed internet to farm houses. They call it “RS Fiber” for a reason

When will services be available to residents?
"The plan is to construct the backbone of the network by burying fiber between all participating communities in the spring of 2015 and hook up a few individual homes and businesses in late 2015. Also in late 2015, the cooperative will offer 25 Mbps symmetrical Air Broadband Internet to rural residents and businesses. In 2016 and 2017, the remaining cities will be constructed with fiber. Starting in 2018, the rural areas will be built out with fiber.”

I repeat, right now DAS small tower installations are installed in Minnesota as a “stop gap measure” and will be completely removed in 2018 once fiber has been rolled out. They are not “RS Wireless” they are “RS Fiber” created by the citizens for the citizens who want the very best. 

Give us the best in MoCo, give us the full enchilada (fiber) don’t sell us out for a value meal (wireless).

For the record, Leventhal, your comments about how the public must get organized in order to speak were hysterical. The public is organized, educated, and enlightened. We know when we are misrepresented. We filled the room. Allowing telecom companies the courtesy to speak, mocking the public that this is what we want, then denying us the ability to clarify the misinformation disseminated today is distasteful. Email discourse done in silence is no substitute for “speech thinking.” To eschew intelligent discourse by refusing to engage your constituents speaks volumes. Today you witnessed citizens educating other citizens, local government didn’t even attempt to notify not even a single resident about these monopoles, not even a post card in the mail. Bring your own research to the table next time will you? All I heard you do today was bully and berate county staff. Bring your own ideas to meld with our collective understanding. Do more than ask question after question. Be a man by offering ideas, proposals, innovations.  

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