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AT&T's antenna plan met with some skepticism

Original post made on Oct 13, 2011

AT&T's plan to install 20 antennae in three Palo Alto neighborhoods is cheering some residents who are looking forward to improved cell-phone reception. But the proposal has left others with grave concerns.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 12, 2011, 11:02 PM

Comments (68)

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Posted by Ann
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2011 at 1:50 am

I don't want any of those antennas near my children. Period.


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Posted by Get real
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 3:11 am

This just goes to show the ignorance of many people.

Radiation increases when phones can't find a stable signal.

Having multiple attennae REDUCES harmful exposure.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2011 at 6:05 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by JA3+
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 7:08 am

The worry expressed in the article by Ms. Kent and others is mis-placed and unwarranted.

It's radiation at the device -- at the cell phone -- that's of far, far greater worry; and, as pointed out above, the better the signal at the device, the lower the radiation emitted by the phone.

For our safety, we simply must have more antennas; DAS is a proven concept. I strongly support AT&T's application.

I hope AT&T soon expands the proposal to include Crescent Park; the signal inside and outside our home is quite weak. I encourage City staff to work with AT&T to allow expansion of the proposal to cover all of Palo Alto.


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Posted by The-World-Needs-Good-Cell-Service
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2011 at 8:12 am

> "Radiation will be going through our bodies 24 hours a day,
> seven days a week.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Science (or common sense) is clearly not this person's strong suit.

> "If I had the money, I would think about moving," Lyala Kent said.

Maybe it would be cheaper for AT&T to help this person move.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2011 at 8:28 am

There was a report on Channel 2 news a couple of weeks back about the amount of radiation coming from baby monitors, which would not be allowed in China, Switzerland, or many other countries. Similarly, the amount of radiation on a household cordless phone or a household microwave.

The people who worry about cell phone towers and their children are probably giving more radiation to their babies from baby monitors and there are probably more waves from microwaves and cordless phones inside the house than any number of cell phone antennae outside the house.

I haven't heard anyone giving up their baby monitors, microwaves or cordless phones. They are much more dangerous.


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Posted by George
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 13, 2011 at 8:31 am

Ann then you need to get rid of all computers, cell phones, microwaves, and TV's in your home as they all generate far more radiation for your kids. This is far better system than putting multiple high output towers in your area.


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Posted by Ann
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2011 at 9:26 am

No George, thanks. I am okay with what I have now. I just don't need any more radiation, and I definitely do not want a tower near my home. Sorry.


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Posted by Rational
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 9:37 am

Well Ann, at least you now know that fears of health risks are irrational given how much radiation your kids now get. You just don't want an antenna to spoil your view so you're playing the tired old "What about the kids!" card.
Sad, irrational, selfish. Sorry.


Like this comment
Posted by Rational
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 9:40 am

Oh, and Ann, please describe what you think these "towers" will look like. How tall? how wide? will they need new structures or use existing ones? Seek information Ann, not affirmation.


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Posted by George
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 13, 2011 at 9:47 am

Sorry Ann it's not a tower it's basically a wireless antenna like your home wireless router has attached to a telephone pole. I bet you have a smart meter too which puts out 1000 times what this will. Grow up NIMBYs like you can't enjoy all the benefits high tech gives Palo Alto without accepting some of the downsides as well.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2011 at 10:15 am

Ann

The cell tower will probably add value to your home as phone reception will be excellent. I heard of one house sale that did not go through in downtown recently due to the fact that the owner had to disclose how poor the cell phone reception was.


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Posted by Brian Guth-Pasta
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2011 at 10:25 am

Brian Guth-Pasta is a registered user.

Ann,

"I am okay with what I have now."

So you mean you are okay with exposing your kids to all these (potentially) harmful potentially cancerous causing devices yet you claim to be "worried." Even when shown the data about the minuscule affects you let emotion get in the way of logic. Don't try to claim to understand something better than real experts, makes you look like an overprotective ignorant parent.

Way to be another prime example of "Not in my backyard" as well.


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Posted by blondie
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 13, 2011 at 10:27 am

When I first moved to my neighborhood in '98 I saw people on the sidewalk talking on their cell phones. I thought: Hey, friendly place, poeple not stuck in their homes. Fast forward, I realized I had to STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET if I wanted to make a call on my cell phone using AT & T. It is better with Verizon, but my point is: we need more towers. Make them somewhat attractive and just do it.


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Posted by Allen Edwards
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 13, 2011 at 10:33 am

They can put it on my roof if they want. People say they don't want it until they know it is safe. That is already known. If they don't believe that now, they never will. And a question for the people afraid of the radiation: Do you use a cell phone? You are putting a transmitter right against your brain. That transmitter is giving you way more radiation than the one on the pole. The bottom line is that this is not X-Ray. The worst it can do is make you a little hot and at these levels it is not going to do that. X-Ray can give you cancer but these are non-ionizing frequencies. Just celebrate the great cell service you will get.


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Posted by Ann
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2011 at 10:47 am

I find interesting to see so many posts defending the towers. Wonder if anyone from AT&T is behind all those posts... Just find it weird that you are all agreeing that it is a good idea to add more towers to Palo Alto.


Like this comment
Posted by Lower IQ
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2011 at 10:59 am

Yes we need more idiots talking on the phone while crossing the street and not looking at the moving cars.
We need more idiots in the supermarket on the phone using the latest technology to find out which lettuce to buy.
We need more people desperate for so called friends they never met.
Cell phones may not give you cancer but they do lower your working IQ.


Like this comment
Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 13, 2011 at 11:13 am

I was walking up on the Stanford dish at 6:00am the other day and a woman behind me was babbling non-stop on her cellphone. Since I foolishly forgot to bring my iPod, I couldn't help but hear her non-stop mindless gossip, at 6 in the morning on a Sunday!!
I'm not afraid of radiation from those antennas, but if poor reception will make it tougher on that stupid woman and other idiots like her to be on their cellphones every waking minute of the day, I'm against the antennas.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2011 at 11:28 am

Ann -

Why are you surprised that rational, logical people with some knowledge of science disagree with you? Or are in the pay of AT&T?


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Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2011 at 11:33 am

OK, I confess my ignorance. I get pretty lousy cell phone reception at my house in Midtown. I have Verizon service. If AT&T builds these extra reception devices, it won't help me because I don't have AT&T?

If I am correct about this, then I'm annoyed. I know competition is the American way, but why can't these service providers combine their "devices". (I am not saying towers because someone else got shot down for it!)


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Posted by Anti-NIMBY
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Those who "don't want any of those antennas near my children" perhaps shouldn't get their kids vaccinated, either. After all, all knowledgeable people know that the earth is flat.


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Posted by RadioGuy
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm

RadioGuy is a registered user.

Ann,

Sorry to see you attacked for what you believe in. As a resident with a PhD in engineering and licensed ham radio operator, I understand how you feel and have some of your same concerns. I personally would not be comfortable with an AT&T DAS antenna on the utility pole near my house.

Someone made the statement that having more antennas reduces radiation because covering smaller areas with DAS means that the base transmitters and handsets can use lower power. In a era when cell phone traffic was primarily voice, there is some truth to that statement. However, the majority of traffic and the primary reason for DAS is really data. As such, there's vastly more "base to handset" broadcast than "handset to base". AT&T forget to tell anyone that LTE will be using MIMO (multiple simultaneous radio channels) to increase "base to handset" bandwidth for things like video steaming. In addition, I don't think AT&T mentioned that antenna technology is capable of "beam forming" or electronically steering most of the radio energy in particular directions in response to a handset location. Finally, if you are unfortunate enough to live next to area with a large number of transient mobile users, the DAS cell will be much more active since each one only covers a small area. In all, it's really a perfect storm for much more radio frequency exposure over a much longer period of time. Despite assurances that levels would be below FCC limits, you should know that the levels the FCC considers harmful would probably kill a cow.

The City of Palo Alto, unfortunately, hasn't shown leadership in developing a better solution. Certainly adequate cell phone service is important and can be life-saving.

I strongly encourage you to keep up the fight.


Like this comment
Posted by Jim Garry
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I find it so hard to comprehend in this day and age that people can be so clueless about technology to make silly statements about radiation concerns, when there isn't shred of evidence to prove the point. And then to think that it must be an AT&T conspiracy, that rational people actually agree with each other.

if people don't like it, I hear Wyoming is pretty nice........ And the average IQ for Palo Alto would go up too.....




Like this comment
Posted by jerryl
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 13, 2011 at 12:22 pm

I was at the meeting. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] I was really saddened by the ignorance exposed by some of the questions being asked. Did no one take physics in high school or college?

At the same time, I thought AT&T could have done a much better job forestalling residents' concerns. Instead of looking toward Oakland for a comparison of property values, I would just have shown a few photos looking up in the air at our existing power poles and transformers. If all that existing ugliness hasn't scared off the buyers, it is a no-brainer that adding a couple of dome shaped antennas will bother anyone. I had to laugh at the comment of some ARB member about improving the appearance of the DAS design. Have they ever taken a drive along East Meadow and lifted their gaze from the sidewalk?

As for radiation. The power levels are akin to a few C-7 (old style Christmas tree) light bulbs. The antennas direct most of the signal OUT from the poles. The antennas are roughly 50 feet in the air.
At such a distance, the signal strength reaching any humans (whether walking by or sitting in a 2nd story room) will be so small as to be indetectable by anything but sensitive electronic receivers.

I wish AT&T had emphasized some of these points in their charts and posters. I also wish there had been some sort of FAQ presentation because the questioning I overheard contained the same kind of questions I have heard over and over at these kinds of meetings.
Why not post them up and knock them down one by one with effective, fact based answers?


Like this comment
Posted by Barron Parker
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Ann,

I'm glad to see you're sticking up for both ignorance and conspiracy paranoia -- with all those AT&T employees who are claiming that you won't get roasted by those scary new antennas on the power poles.

But if you're really concerned about your kids, you should protect them from all of the nasty electromagnetic radiation that they're exposed to. Starting with sunlight, which will damage your DNA and actually cause cancer. And don't forget the microwave radiation from the cell phone next to your ear when it's broadcasting at something like 10 million ergs per second (!!) And then there's all the radiation from radio and television transmitters -- you know that's gotta be dangerous, with hundreds of stations from 500 kilohertz up into the hundreds of megahertz. Plus the CB radios, the 0.7 meter and 2.0 meter ham bands, the police and fire radios. Then there are the very low frequency 60 Hz waves from high voltage transmission towers -- those scared people to death 20 years ago. And don't forget those dental xrays that go through your body and blast your cells to smithereens. Even worse are the CAT scans, with their milli-sievert radiation loads, mammograms, .. you name it. And if all that isn't bad enough, we've got cosmic rays blasting you with high energy gamma rays, muons, protons and neutrons. The infra-red photons from the cosmic background radiation of the Big Bang 14.7 billion years ago are much more dangerous than the puny microwave cellphone photons. Then there are those most scary gamma and beta rays from the decay of radon, which seeps out of the ground and gets into your house -- you should install high flow fans to get that stuff out as quickly as possible. Worst of all are the neutrinos, which have a terrifically high flux and are impossible to shield, even 2 miles under the surface of the earth. I didn't really want to scare you, but believe me, no matter how hard you try to protect your kids from all this, it's hopeless.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve Ellis
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Agree with Allen Edwards's message above. Seems like some of the people against the plan may have not yet fully looked into the science, or perhaps they require a P-value of 10^-20 or less before they count it as safe.


Like this comment
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

The bias of this e-paper is obvious.

These comments are personal attacks, yet Palo Alto online doesn't remove them. yet when I post a TRUE opinion of Jobs, it get immediately CENSORED.

I didn't think an example of this bias would show up so quickly...

Shame, shame, shame. Pull all the PERSONAL ATTACKS and stick to the issues.

That is what Professional Reporting is about!


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Gosh, those AT&T spies are everywhere.


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Posted by Gethin
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2011 at 1:57 pm

First of all my only relationship with AT&T is that they are my carrier.
I am 100% in favor of increasing cell coverage in Palo Alto and I believe the health risk is zero.


Like this comment
Posted by Anti-NIMBY
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm

RadioGuy,

Oh, come on! Show us a cow that has been killed by cell phone tower "radiation", whether or not there are "beam forming" or "MIMO". You talk as if you know what you are talking about. I suspect you actually DO NOT know what you are talking about. Show us some literature references to support your claims.


Like this comment
Posted by WHO
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 13, 2011 at 2:35 pm

World Health Organization lists mobile phone use in the same "carcinogenic hazard" category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform

link:
Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2011 at 2:58 pm

I think this is sooo funny! While I go to the bank with the money we get from the 2 towers we have on our property that NO ONE in a neighborhood community had a vote for or against!
Too bad for the church that they tried to build on - they could have used the money. But noooo, everyone is so against cell towers. Well too bad for you all.

BTW...while everyone is posting signs saying "no cell towers in the ball park"...just think of how much that income could do for the ballpark. Radiation is a big non issue - as everyone with common sense states above.

Thanks community leaders for voting no on cell towers at the church on middlefield...now I get paid! Hahahaha!


Like this comment
Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2011 at 3:01 pm


Hey WHO...

Where are you going to go to get away from it? We aren't even the highest users of cell phones in the world...China has more. What country will you escape to?

I repeat Thanks Palo Alto voters - I like the no hassle cash flow!


Like this comment
Posted by Anti-NIMBY
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 13, 2011 at 3:08 pm

WHO:

Glad you bring up WHO. The Economist has a good article about it:

Web Link

If you do not believe The Economist, you can read WHO's own release:

Web Link

Quote: "A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use."

Read the article yourself. Basically, the alleged carcinogenic effect of cell phones has never been established scientifically. Why did WHO still put radio frequency electromagnetic field in Group 2B? Beats me. But bureaucratic cowardice may not be a bad explanation.


Like this comment
Posted by JA3+
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 3:15 pm

RadioGuy wrote:

"AT&T forget [sic] to tell anyone that LTE will be using MIMO (multiple simultaneous radio channels) to increase "base to handset" bandwidth for things like video steaming."

On the wikipedia page devoted to MIMO, it is described in part as follows:

"MIMO technology has attracted attention in wireless communications, because it offers significant increases in data throughput and link range without additional bandwidth or transmit power. It achieves this by higher spectral efficiency (more bits per second per hertz of bandwidth) and link reliability or diversity (reduced fading)."

If the power stays the same, how will radiation at the DAS be increased (with AT&T's presumed use of MIMO)? Is this -- the mention of MIMO -- a red herring?


Like this comment
Posted by Evergreen Park Neighbor
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Geesh....the nutty ideas people believe. Next thing you know....they'll stop teaching evolution in our schools OR that Hallowe'en should be banned because it is the Devils' work.

There are lots of reasons to oppose the DAS antenna installation but health is not one of them. I for one would vote against it (if given a chance) because I think they should make the antennas even smaller and the equipment even quieter.

A little simple calculation shows that cell towers HAS to be much less dangerous than a cell phone. Radio energy falls off at the square of the distance. Suppose a cell tower was 100 feet away from you, and you hold your cell phone about an inch from your ear. Cell phones have total power of about 5 watts (say 1 for round numbers). So the cell tower is 1200 time further away (say 1000 for round numbers). So the cell tower would have to be 1000000 watts to achieve the same radio energy at your ear. Folks....there is no frigging way a DAS antenna is emiting 1 megawatt. Bottom line: If you're worried about cell towers, you'd probably should stop using your cell phone or hold it anywhere near your body first.

This is very simple math....Given that 25% of high school students in Palo Alto achieve "National Merit"....I'd expect most parents to understand this and quickly debunk the crazy idea that DAS cell towers are a health risk.


Like this comment
Posted by JA3+
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Radio Guy wrote:

"I personally would not be comfortable with an AT&T DAS antenna on the utility pole near my house."

I'll take the counter: I personally would be very comfortable with an AT&T DAS -- one based on the latest version of Tyco's Flexwave™ Prism product -- on the utility pole near my house.


Like this comment
Posted by JA3+
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Regarding Evergreen Park Neighbor's post a few minutes ago:

+1


Like this comment
Posted by Ann
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Thank you, RadioGuy!


Like this comment
Posted by Anti-NIMBY
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Ann,

Before you thank RadioGuy, read the post by Evergreen Park Neighbor. You can follow the math, right?

So far as I can tell, far from the knowledgeable expert image RadioGuy likes to project, I suspect he's more like the Cliff Claven character in Cheers: full of misinformation and hot air.


Like this comment
Posted by Ann
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Maybe I cannot follow the math... Maybe I am too ignorant. But I am not rude. Thank you again RadioGuy for your polite response.


Like this comment
Posted by Anti-NIMBY
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 13, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Alas, no amount of politeness is going to make nonsense into sense, or ignorance into knowledge.


Like this comment
Posted by JA3+
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 5:38 pm

RadioGuy wrote:

"Despite assurances that levels would be below FCC limits, you should know that the levels the FCC considers harmful would probably kill a cow."

Where is the substantiation for such conclusion?

And where are the referenced assurances? In AT&T's proposal? If so, where is the latest proposal?


Like this comment
Posted by Gail
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 13, 2011 at 6:41 pm

AT&T wants 80 antennas. What about the other carriers? They are going to want antennas, too.
My understanding is that there are cooling fans on the equipment that will turn on and hummmm (approx 64 decibels) whenever the temperature outside hits 74 degrees. The fans will be on much of the time.
It isn't just the unsightly antennas on top of the poles. There will be at least 2 large boxes affixed to the lower portion of the poles, too. In addition there will be large free standing boxes that will be 50 inches or more across on the ground next to the poles. I wouldn't want to be a homeowner that has the free standing box on their property.
The installation of antennas on the utility poles will halt the undergrounding of utility poles in Old Palo Alto. How can they continue undergrounding the utility poles if they are allowing AT&T to mount equipment on the poles?
There is more to this antenna proposal than meets the eye.


Like this comment
Posted by Live_Longer_Be_Skeptic
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Personally, I'd suggest we all consider being skeptics; particularly in an era where being out of integrity is the norm.

Using a wired phone is most likely safer than a cordless, or a cellular phone. All of us, who use many modern day products are being sorts of "industrial test humans."

Do your really believe that the men and women running cell phone / wireless companies are living more in integrity the the people who are running P.G.&E. Countrywide, B of A, Solomon Brothers...

I'm not suggesting returning to the dark ages, yet, perhaps, locals like Ann, are simply interested in reducing their exposure and risk to these products. There is a wide variety of data available that the increases in eye and brain cancers are directly related to use of cell phones.
Web Link

Studies say that a driver using a cell phone is more at risk than someone driving under the influence of alcohol. By extension, that means that when we are walking around talking on our cell phones, we are essentially walking around "drunk" too.

Perhaps being a skeptic... Doing simple things like growing quality food in your own back yard, will enhance the quality of your life. Turn off your phones unless there is an important telephone call to make. Think before you use your phone.

Take care Ann; thank you for your courage and willingness to be awake!


Like this comment
Posted by Anti-NIMBY
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 13, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Live_Longer_Be_Skeptic,

Far more people die from drunk driving every year than from cell phone use. Yet no sane person finds that a good reason for banning alcoholic drinks.

Your first link does not prove anything. One can find websites supporting all conceivable opinions on the web. Do you believe in space alien abductions too? I'm sure you can find people swearing the truth of that on the web as well.



Like this comment
Posted by yes please
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2011 at 7:43 pm

What did AT&T say about the volume of noise from the antennae? The radiation "risk" is no big deal (the risk that WHO reported is I believe from the handset transmitter -not antenna- next to which which we precariously put our brains), but I am concerned about the noise impact. It would drive me nuts if I had a whirring device audible 24/7, although maybe it it "white noise" and a benefit? In any event is seems that a demo should be installed outside City Hall to test. Much as I want better coverage I don't trust AT&T as far as I can throw them. Remember when they bought Cable Co-op and agreed as part of the sale to maintain local access programming, then charged us each (and still do after sale to Comcast) about $2 a month for it. There is no honor there.


Like this comment
Posted by alex
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2011 at 8:16 pm

This is and has been a silly issue for a while.Though there is a disproportionately large amount of smart people in this town, there always have been those that pray and believe in homeopathy.


Like this comment
Posted by JA3+
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 8:49 pm

"There is a wide variety of data available that the increases in eye and brain cancers are directly related to use of cell phones."

This statement is opinion and lacks any substantiation; to the contrary, many studies -- there have been quite a few now, particularly in Europe -- show no such increases.
_____

This is a health issue here, however: with more DAS, signal strength at our cell phones will improve; and, with such improvement, the radiation emitted by our cell phones will be less.

For our health, we need more DAS, not less. Perhaps it is counter-intuitive; but, intuition here is not a good replacement for science.


Like this comment
Posted by JA3+
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Live_Longer_Be_Skeptic,

Your web link relies significantly on the beliefs of George Carlo; but, Mr. Carlo has been heavily discredited, including here:

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Toby
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2011 at 9:49 pm

More antenna = more radiation plain and simple. Enough is enough! Get a landline!


Like this comment
Posted by Start it up
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2011 at 11:43 pm

JUST DO IT!! It is OK. Really... did you read the very very small risk?


Like this comment
Posted by Turned off
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Looking through the posts, I've now been thoroughly turned off by antenna supporters, their personal attacks, and down right nastiness. I don't find their arguments (and certainly not their style) to be persuasive. And I definitely am not going to take AT&T's word for anything.

I expect I'll be insulted for my lack of intelligence (and who knows what else) by future posts.


Like this comment
Posted by alex
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2011 at 11:58 pm

To Turned off,

I hate AT&T at least as much as you do. But thanks for your pertinent comment and I look forward to more of your insightful thoughts about how we should speak.


Like this comment
Posted by Bikes2work
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 14, 2011 at 12:03 am

Meanwhile, modern cities next door to Palo Alto recognize cell service is critical infrastructure and provide the approvals necessary for real innovation.

Have fun in 1970, Palo Alto.

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by alex
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 14, 2011 at 12:15 am

We're a little slow but we tend to get things right in the long run. I'd rather live here than in cities next door.


Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 14, 2011 at 7:50 am

Given how strongly some people seem to feel - that they want to avoid ANY artificial source of radiation absolutely, it seems - there's a real opportunity for a community builder who can zone off an entire area containing no microwaves, no TVs, no cordless phones, and absolutely no cell phones, of course.

For the rest of us, who live relatively happily in the crossfire of current radiation sources, this plan is about as reasonable as it can be and our cell service in Palo Alto is pitiful. Let's move ahead quickly and decisively.


Like this comment
Posted by scooter
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 14, 2011 at 8:21 am

It sounds like the DAS system is already up and running in Oakland. With all the strong opinions voiced here, has anyone visited Oakland to check out the system? Armed with a radiation meter and a sound meter, we could get ACTUAL data; even without that, we could look at the antenna, and the supplementary equipment. I suspect, though, that both pro-DAS and anti-DAS people on this forum generally won't be willing to check this.

My family has 4 AT&T cellphones. And we often wish we had better coverage. I find it extremely hard to picture a scenario where these new antennas would increase health risks. Maybe, MAYBE if an antenna was RIGHT next to my bedroom. I haven't reviewed the proposed locations - does anyone have specific objections, instead of principled stances? It would be great to have someone who truly may be directly impacted provide useful information. I agree that we shouldn't blindly trust AT&T, but we probably shouldn't blindly distrust them either.

Does anyone volunteer to visit Oakland, and report back? Does anyone volunteer to share that yes, they are located near a proposed antenna, and that they would be directly impacted in a specific way?


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Posted by JA3+
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 14, 2011 at 8:49 am

<Does anyone volunteer to visit Oakland, and report back?>

Sure; I'm over in the East Bay a fair bit.

Where are the DAS in Oakland? Is there a web site or page showing locations?

I have a sound meter -- a Galaxy Audio 'Checkmate' CM-140. What 'frequency weighting'? 'A'? What Time Weighting? 'Fast'?

I don't have a radiation meter. What radiation meter 'works' here?


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Posted by Nearby neighbor
a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 14, 2011 at 9:15 am

One thing that hasn't been mentioned in all these blogs is the noise factor. There will be a box placed about one-third the way up the pole which has a cooling fan inside that emits a constant whirring sound.

When AT&T placed their sample antenna on East Bayshore they did not make it operational for obvious reasons. If they had you would know how load and how annoying that whirring sound would be.

AT&T have been very clever in hiding certain aspects of the operation of their antennas, so you won't find out ahead of time how constant the whirring sound might be to those living nearby.


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Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 14, 2011 at 11:45 am

the_punnisher is a registered user.


Thank you for removing the personal attacks in the comments on this topic.

I note that a semi-professional has commented and has the right approach to thinking and action on this controversial project.

Most people have mentioned the inverse square law concerning physical distance. This is why I USE THE SPEAKERPHONE accesory on my wireless residential phone. That small distance AWAY FROM THE HEAD makes a BIG difference on how much radiation you are exposed to!

The REAL problem with these radiating towers is that THEY ARE ON 24/7/365! That should be the issue. Radiation effects are CUMULATIVE!

That is the dirty little secret that isn't talked about and is not mentioned by the people who profit by having the cell towers. Again, it's all about the money!

Take a step back and look at who gains and who loses...And remember that radiation effects are cumulative.


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Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 14, 2011 at 12:35 pm


This is so funny.

I LOVE the "nay sayers" - As I said before, it's because of them that I have an AT&T AND a TMobile antenna on my commercial property. No votes on commercial property right in the middle of town!

So you see, there is no way to keep the antenna's, that are necessary, out of town. Maybe just out of your voting distance.

Hahaha all the way to the bank!


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Posted by Anti-NIMBY
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 14, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Turned off,

Of course you are turned off, for your side of the debate could not produce a single piece of real evidence to support your claims. Has the RadioGuy "with a PhD in engineering and licensed ham radio operator" showed us a single cow that was killed by cell phone tower "radiation" or any literature references to support his claims? Is George Carlo a trustworthy source of information? Did World Health Organization show a single piece of evidence of the harmful effect of cell phone use in its own press release? (By the way, note that WHO was talking about cell phone use, not cell phone tower.) Do YOU have any evidence to support your own belief?


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Posted by Turned off
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Thank you to the previous poster for helping to prove my point.

Sorry, Alex. With friends like these . . . .


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Posted by rem
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 15, 2011 at 8:31 am

rem is a registered user.

Hay folks - Get a life.

These antennae are not going to "hurt" anyone!

I can't wait until the antenna goes up at Mitchell Park and the ball field. Excellent signal....


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Posted by Ann
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 15, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Thanks for your posting Gail. I did not think much about the aesthetics of it until I read your post.

for those who missed, I am reposting it:

from Gail

AT&T wants 80 antennas. What about the other carriers? They are going to want antennas, too.

My understanding is that there are cooling fans on the equipment that will turn on and hummmm (approx 64 decibels) whenever the temperature outside hits 74 degrees. The fans will be on much of the time.

It isn't just the unsightly antennas on top of the poles. There will be at least 2 large boxes affixed to the lower portion of the poles, too. In addition there will be large free standing boxes that will be 50 inches or more across on the ground next to the poles. I wouldn't want to be a homeowner that has the free standing box on their property.

The installation of antennas on the utility poles will halt the undergrounding of utility poles in Old Palo Alto. How can they continue undergrounding the utility poles if they are allowing AT&T to mount equipment on the poles?

There is more to this antenna proposal than meets the eye.


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Posted by JA3+
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 15, 2011 at 9:56 pm

"My understanding is that there are cooling fans on the equipment that will turn on and hummmm (approx 64 decibels) whenever the temperature outside hits 74 degrees."

When this topic was covered in early August here at paloaltoonline.com [ Web Link ], several forum posters mentioned a sound level of forty six (46) decibels. Such sound level is quite different than 'approx 64 decibels'.

I don't know the sound level for the proposed DAS; I suspect Gail doesn't either.

Ann, it may be wise to take Gail's posting herein above with a grain of salt.


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Posted by BlakeTrent
a resident of another community
on Jan 27, 2012 at 10:40 am

I agree with many concerns posed in the article and also in these comments. Although as the companies claim its minimal amounts of radiation. It definitely adds up from all those devices and time. The uncertainty of it at this point is worrisome in and of itself. Personally, I feel its better to be safe than sorry. They should not be building those antennas close to residences until they know it does NOT harm people, or come up with radiation protection. And for now, I think people need to invest in cell phone radiation protection! Check for more information here: Web Link


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