Colorado Reps. Concerned About 5G 'Disinformation' Campaign

Colorado Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette has called for a Hill hearing on a 5G disinformation campaign spotted in Denver and "everywhere," saying she thought the House Energy & Commerce Committee--Democrats control the committee--should hold a hearing on it.

That came after fellow Colorado legislator Greg Walden, a Republican, and ranking member of the committee, had brought up the issue in a LIFT America Act oversight hearing Wednesday (May 22) about building out broadband, including his emphasis on the need to win the race to 5G.

Walden cited KGW-TV Portland for doing a fact check on 5G public health warning posters and confirming the official-looking warnings were not official or sanctioned by the city.

Walden said someone had been putting up stickers in Portland on lamp posts saying 5G was a health hazard. He also said the issue was worth Congress looking into.

KGW 's Verify unit did a reality check and reported that the alleged public health warnings that had been posted in East Portland "urg[ing] residents to call the mayor and city council about 5G, calling the technology 'potentially hazardous,'" did not come from the city.

The station did point out that Russia-backed Russian TV network RT had been running anti-5G stories saying the next-gen wireless tech led to "brain cancer, infertility, autism and even Alzheimer's disease," without any scientific evidence to back it up. Walden also cited that story in suggesting the committee needed to be vigilant about tactics in the race to 5G, saying that in Russia they were suggesting 5G could cure cancer, not cause it.

"We can Verify: These public warning signs did not come from an official government source, and they are not official health warnings," the station said on its Web site.

The station pointed out that the Portland City Council was voting June 5 on whether to allow AT&T to build out more small cells in rights of way, but those don't currently employ 5G, the mayor told the station.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.