By B.N. Frank
Utility companies won’t admit it but their wireless “Smart” Meters have been nothing but troublefrom the jump. Tens of millions have been installed in the U.S. and around the world and people everywhere (including elected officials) have been fighting to get them off their homes and out of their communities (see 1, 2, 3). These meters have been associated with so many problems (including fires and explosions) that there was even a documentary produced about them.
Now utility companies are warning the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) that auctioning off more 5G spectrums for unlicensed and untested WiFi applications will make their horrible “Smart” Meters even worse. This is on top of the Telecom Industry saying that they have no scientific evidence that 5G is even safe and plenty of researchers saying it’s not.
Those utilities say they need the spectrum for their mission-critical communications and that the FCC’s proposal to open it up for unlicensed Wi-Fi use is an untested and unproven approach that the FCC is pursuing despite the concerns of utilities as others about interference and/or congestion that threatens critical infrastructure.
The utilities say that the band is already heavily employed by its licensed users, and that licensed use is more reliable and robust.
Those communications nets are “used for critical situational awareness, underpin safety functions, and enable crews to safely repair and restore services after storms,” as well as “the greater deployment of distributed energy resources such as solar or battery storage, smart meters, and other technologies to enable grid modernization.”
“While our collective members fully understand and appreciate the need to make more efficient use of spectrum,” they said. “We strongly encourage the Commission to weigh the advantages of expanding access to the 6 GHz band with the potential negative impact this could have on critical infrastructure networks.”
The letter came a day after FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was talking up 6 GHz’s potential for Wi-Fi in a speech to the Wi-Fi World Congress in Tysons Corner, Va., outside Washington. He also said incumbent utilities must be protected.