NB Mayor lobbies for improved rural Internet access

NEW BETHLEHEM, PA. (RVO) – Although the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has impacted our lives in countless ways, it’s also given many of us an opportunity to slow down, reflect, and adjust to a simpler way of doing life.

Those who are fortunate enough to work from home are doing so because technology allows them to remain productive and connected. Students who have access to the internet are able to stay engaged through various e-learning platforms and devices. Yet, for those who have unreliable coverage or inadequate capacity, we are confronted by a stark reality – mobile coverage and access to technology has quickly become a necessity, not a luxury.

In many ways, our telecommunications capabilities have become our fourth utility. Think about it – telecommunications employees are still at work. They have become life-sustaining for many of us, and it’s time for our state and federal officials to recognize it too.

Greater investments in rural broadband, a streamlined process to deploy small cell technology, and a bipartisan willingness to support policies that result in improved connectivity is more important now than it has ever been before. Swift action by our state and federal officials to enact such policies should be prioritized.

Technology continues to evolve and change the way we live, work, recreate and educate, laying the groundwork for Pennsylvania to invest in groundbreaking technologies. Our commonwealth and communities have the potential to benefit from improved healthcare, transportation, education, public safety and industry – including manufacturing, mining, construction and much more.

This is why I am supporting Pennsylvania House Bill 1400 – the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act. The bill would create a legislative framework to ensure Pennsylvania is equipped with the infrastructure needed to improve internet connectivity and provide our communities with access to 5G technology.

As Mayor of New Bethlehem Pennsylvania, I am committed to providing responsive, innovative and results-driven solutions to support business, community and personal growth within the borough while maintaining the small-town appeal and family-friendly environment that makes the New Bethlehem area and Redbank Valley community such a great place to work, live and raise a family.

To learn more, please visit the Pennsylvania Partnership for 5G:

Gordon V. Barrows
Mayor of New Bethlehem Pennsylvania

5G Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Click the questions below to reveal the answers to the most commonly asked questions and concerns about 5G technology.

The same way garage door openers, TVs, baby monitors and every past generation of wireless have all worked — with radiofrequency (RF) waves. 5G uses a dense network of “small cell” antennas about the size of a backpack. Designed to blend into the environment, these 5G antennas hide in plain sight on things you never notice — like utility poles and street lamps.

With high speeds, superior reliability and negligible latency, 5G will expand the mobile ecosystem into new realms. 5G will impact every industry, making safer transportation, remote healthcare, precision agriculture, digitized logistics — and more — a reality.

5G is already being implemented across the globe, including the United States. 6G is already under development. While millimeter wave frequencies are new to wireless networks, they are extremely well understood by the international scientific community. The IEEE, which the FCC describes as “internationally recognized for [its] expertise in this area,” has assembled a list of dozens and dozens of studies on millimeter wave frequencies. The list of the millimeter wave studies and reviews cited by the IEEE is here. In December 2019, the FCC, which regulates radiofrequency emissions in the United States, adopted the recommendations of expert organizations that have reviewed the science, including from the IEEE, and reaffirmed that its safety standards “ensure the health and safety of workers and consumers of wireless technology,” and that “no scientific evidence establishes a causal link between wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses.”

As with any new technology, there are always worries about the health side effects (remember the panic around cellphones causing cancer?). And it’s good to be concerned about our health, but erroneous data can lead to unnecessary panic. As is the case with a 2000 graph by physicist Dr. Bill P. Curry that showed an extremely steep increase in microwave absorption by the brain at higher frequencies leading to fears of 5G health risks.

Since then, multiple scientists have debunked this myth on the dangers of 5G stating that 1) Dr. Curry’s data looked at exposed tissues in a lab, not cells deep inside our body and 2) it failed to take the “shielding effect” into account. The shielding effect refers to our skin’s ability to block out higher radio frequencies and protect our insides.

And for that matter, the current 4G wireless technology and every other generation prior to that falls under the same guidelines. You’re probably reading this on your 4G smartphone right now.

Still not convinced? Read this article:

5G is designed to do a variety of things that can transform our lives, including giving us faster download speeds, low latency, and more capacity and connectivity for billions of devices—especially in the areas of virtual reality (VR), the IoT, and artificial intelligence (AI).

For example, with 5G, you can access new and improved experiences including near-instant access to cloud services, multiplayer cloud gaming, shopping with augmented reality, and real-time video translation and collaboration, and more.

No. Reports that 5G networks are somehow related to the coronavirus are unsubstantiated rumors. It is scientifically impossible for radiofrequency waves at any frequency to create a virus, including radio waves used to provide 5G. Infectious disease specialist and coronavirus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci calls these reports “garbage.” Professor Stephen Powis, the National Medical Director in the United Kingdom, calls these theories “outrageous” and “absolute and utter rubbish.”

Social media platforms, including YouTube, are removing content linking 5G and COVID-19 per their user guidelines since these stories are false.

More information is available at

5G will support businesses’ innovation ambitions and create new markets, transforming supply chain management and creating smarter, more efficient manufacturing. It’s also a fundamental platform for the Internet of Things (IoT) — the rapidly expanding number of devices that collect, transmit and share data via the internet. By 2020, more than half of all new businesses will rely on the “IoT” to cut costs, build efficiencies, and grow their bottom lines. But many of the innovations 5G technology will fuel literally haven’t been invented yet. For the “IoT” to realize its limitless potential, 5G is critical.

To learn more, please visit:

5G is already here today, and global operators started launching new 5G networks in early 2019. 5G mobile networks are expected to be available nationwide in many countries by 2020. Also, all major Android phone manufacturers are commercializing 5G phones. And soon, even more people may be able to access 5G. 5G is coming to smartphones by Summer 2020.

5G has been deployed in 20+ countries and counting. We are seeing much faster rollout and adoption compared with 4G. Consumers are very excited about the high speeds and low latencies. But 5G goes beyond these benefits by also providing the capability for mission-critical services, enhanced mobile broadband and massive IoT. While it is hard to predict when everyone will have access to 5G, we are seeing great momentum of 5G launches in its first year and we expect more countries to launch their 5G networks in 2020 and beyond.

Currently, Verizon and AT&T 5G service is available in thirty-four cities — Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Denver, Providence, St. Paul, D.C., Detroit, Atlanta, Sacramento, New York, Boise, Phoenix, Omaha, Dallas, Sioux Falls, Boston, Cleveland, Columbus, Charlotte, Greensboro, Grand Rapids, Miami, Salt Lake City, Spokane, Memphis, Hoboken, Des Moines, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Little Rock, and Panama City.

5G is driving global growth.

• $13.2 Trillion dollars of global economic output
• 22.3 Million new jobs created
• $2.1 Trillion dollars in GDP growth

Through a landmark 5G Economy study, we found that 5G’s full economic effect will likely be realized across the globe by 2035—supporting a wide range of industries and potentially enabling up to $13.2 trillion worth of goods and services.

This impact is much greater than previous network generations. The development requirements of the new 5G network are also expanding beyond the traditional mobile networking players to industries such as the automotive industry.

The study also revealed that the 5G value chain (including OEMs, operators, content creators, app developers, and consumers) could alone support up to 22.3 million jobs, or more than one job for every person in Beijing, China. And there are many emerging and new applications that will still be defined in the future. Only time will tell what the full “5G effect” on the economy is going to be.

To learn more about economic impact, please visit:

5G conspiracy theories have been around for years. The loose and incorrect reasons some have connected 5G technology to the coronavirus outbreak are myriad and maddening. Some seem to think that both 5G and the coronavirus are new, so they must be connected somehow. Others point to suspicious sources like misunderstood legislation as evidence that the government is hiding something in this global crisis. But ultimately, most of these ideas draw on an established well of confused concern about 5G technology and longstanding fears about new cellular technologies.

To learn more about the history of and conspiracy theories behind 5G, please visit:

Communities that tap into the power of 5G connectivity will be able to transform how people live, learn, work and play in countless ways, driving improvements across transit, utilities, public Wi-Fi access, emergency preparedness and beyond. From smart traffic lights that cut congestion to smart buildings that save energy, 5G will open nearly limitless opportunities for innovation.

New Bethlehem Borough meetings are held the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:00pm at the Alltel/Windstream Building on Lafayette Street. Folks may contact the Borough’s office to be placed on the meeting agenda.

New Bethlehem Borough Council fosters business, community, and personal growth within the borough while maintaining the small town appeal and family friendly environment that makes New Bethlehem such a great place to work, live and raise a family.

To learn more about Council’s Goals & Objectives, please visit: and click the ‘Mission’ tab.

To contact any member of Council or the Borough’s office, please visit: and click the ‘Council’ tab. You may also ‘like/follow’ New Bethlehem Borough on Facebook for the latest news/announcements:

For more info, please visit New Bethlehem Borough’s website:

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