5G towers: Did companies commit fraud?

May 20, 2021

I am an FCC licensed technician, a graduate engineer and I have a PhD in urban planning and policy, so I write this as such and not as a current member of the  Rehoboth Beach Planning Commission. The telecom companies appear to have committed fraud  to get the required permits for their various 5G placements in Dewey Beach, Rehoboth Beach and along the Route 1 corridor to Ocean City.

Fraud is defined as the intentional misrepresentation or concealment of an important fact upon which the victim is meant to rely, and, in fact, does rely, resulting in harm to the victim. One only needs to see the Verizon 5G installation at the corner of  Route 1 and New Orleans Street in Dewey Beach to appreciate how this abomination destroys our aesthetic beach environment. 

In Dewey Beach’s situation, the initial installations by Verizon were done without any notification to Dewey Beach officials, as DelDOT has total authority for the placement of telecom infrastructure on state-owned property under the Delaware Wireless Infrastructure Act. DelDOT did not, even as a courtesy, notify the Dewey Beach officials of these 5G approvals. Unfortunately, DelDOT violated its own design manual for infrastructure and failed to apply the requirement of objective, reasonable design standards for stealth and concealment requirements as required under Chapter 16: 1609 Permits: section (5) c. of the Wireless Infrastructure Act. 

DelDOT’s own design manual for all infrastructure enumerates a long list of technical and legal requirements that also includes a catchall phrase of “any other applicable requirements,” and those requirements would be the DE Wireless Act requirements for stealth and concealment.  Did both Verizon and AT&T withhold information from DelDOT, various municipal officials, employees elected and appointed,  such that they were incapable of giving informed consent as critical technical information and alternatives were knowingly withheld by these applicants? 

The technology, capability, and know how exists to implement 5G, and just about any other RF technology, without damaging our natural environment and the scenic beauty of our region. It does cost marginally more, but absolute cost is not one of the criteria in the FCC requirements for 5G. It ust has to be “no more burdensome than those applied to other types of infrastructure.” 

It would have been easy to do things correctly, but Verizon and AT&T chose profits versus preserving our environment. They failed as a matter of law, to indicate that other options were technically available, and would have blended in far more harmoniously within our beach environment. That is fraud when informed consent has been denied to those responsible for the issuance of permits and approvals. The remedy for fraud is simple; reversal of the fraudulently obtained permits and erection of properly designed 5G systems that have the characteristics of reasonable design for stealth and concealment that meet the aesthetic requirements of our environment as called out in the various comprehensive development plans of our towns.  

Perhaps the Delaware Attorney General needs to investigate this pervasive fraudulent behavior by Telecom companies as it appears to meet the legal requirements under the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). 

Michael Strange
Rehoboth Beach
  • A letter to the editor expresses a reader's opinion and, as such, is not reflective of the editorial opinions of this newspaper.

    To submit a letter to the editor for publishing, send an email to Letters must be signed and include a telephone number and address for verification. Please keep letters to 500 words or fewer. We reserve the right to edit for content and length. Letters should be responsive to issues addressed in the Cape Gazette rather than content from other publications or media. Only one letter per author will be published every 30 days. Letters restating information and opinions already offered by the same author will not be used. Letters must focus on issues of general, local concern, not personalities or specific businesses.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter