Opposition to 5G Increases and Intensifies in NYC; Community Boards Pass Moratoriums, Congressman Speaks Out

By B.N. Frank

Complaints and concerns about 5G deployment in New York City neighborhoods have been ongoing since 2018 when residents first reported they were getting sick – as were their pets – after 5G was activated.  As deployment has increased, so has opposition to it (see 1, 2, 3, 4).  Legislators and residents don’t want towers where there is no wireless service gap. In fact, high-speed broadband can be achieved more safely and securely with hardwired internet connections (see 1, 2).  Furthermore, Americans have already paid for this to be provided to them.

Thanks to Environmental Health Trust for continuing to update efforts to limit and/or stop 5G expansion in the Big Apple.

5G in New York City

New York City is slated to get dozens of new huge 30-foot 5G and 4G poles!

The new 5G poles are very large, tall and leading to many questions and fierce opposition by New York residents. See LinkNYC Link5G Design Proposal Slides. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are adding 5G technology in New York City with a combination of “macro” sites (wireless transmitters generally located on the rooftops) and “small cells ” which are typically located on street poles.

New York City Community Boards Are Passing Moratoriums

Community Boards across the city are having meetings to provide input. Community Board 8  which includes areas of Upper East side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island passed a  5G moratorium several weeks ago and several other Boards have followed suit.

Where Can I find a Map of Proposed New York 5G LinkNYC Poles ? 

EHT’s Executive Director, Theodora Scarato has been sharing the latest science and policy with the New York City community. Wired Broadband.org  and New Yorkers 4 Wired Tech are NYC organizations working to raise awareness.

The European Parliament requested a research report  “Health Impact of 5G” released in July 2021 concluding that commonly used RFR frequencies (450 to 6000 MHz) are probably carcinogenic for humans and clearly affect male fertility with possible adverse effects on the development of embryos, fetuses and newborns.

A January 23, 2023 Letter from Congressman Nadler on 5G New York Cell Towers says the 5G towers “generated widespread concern throughout the community.”

New York Community Board Actions

Manhattan Community Board 8 (Upper East Side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island) Transportation Committee passed a disapproval and Link5G moratorium.

Manhattan CB5 (Times Square) 

Manhattan CB9 West Harlem: 

  • 1/9/23 Health & Environment Committee passed disapproval and moratorium
  • 1/11/23 Executive Committee passed with health references removed.

1/16/23 Letter RE: Disapproval and moratorium of new Link5ZG Kiosks within MCB9

Brooklyn CB10 Bay Ridge/Fort Hamilton: 

  • 1/10/23 Communications & Public Relations Committee passed a motion to deny support for

the towers without having more and better information about the health and safety effects.

CB10 Communications and Public Relations Committee 1/10/23

Queens CB2 (Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and Northern Corona)

Manhattan CB2 (Greenwich Village, Little Italy, SoHo, NoHo, Hudson Square, Chinatown,

  • and the Gansevoort Market)
  • 1/17/23 Quality of Life Committee passed a resolution calling for moratorium in residential and

mixed use areas containing residential, landmarked historic districts and areas in close proximity

to individual landmarks. Manhattan CB2 January 17, 2023 – Quality of Life Committee Meeting

Queens CB1, Astoria, Long Island City 

Manhattan CB12, Washington Heights


Theodora  Scarato, executive director of Environmental Health Trust has presented information as well as several others to some of the Community Boards regarding the scientific research and the lack of up to date regulations for the radiation exposure. Letter EHT sent to the New York Office of Technology regarding RF compliance reports.

New York organizations to connect with that are working on raising awareness of the need for safer, faster technology, rather than excessive 5G poles. 

  • Wired Broadband.org : Odette J. Wilkens, President & General Counsel Wired Broadband, Inc. has been providing testimony on the need for wired broadband and safe technology solutions.
  • New Yorkers 4 Wired Tech: Grassroots advocates sounding the alarm on the harmful biological effects of pulsed-modulated microwave radiation from densified 4G/5G wireless infrastructure antennas.

Listen to a radio interview with ProPublica Reporter Peter Elkind on 5G and wireless radiation. WABC Radio (New York, NY), Jan 17, 2023

Peter Elkind. How the FCC Shields Cellphone Companies From Safety Concerns. ProPublica, Nov 10, 2022

A major exposé of the FCC’s negligence and complicity with the telecom industry …. “The wireless industry is rolling out thousands of new transmitters amid a growing body of research that calls cellphone safety into question. Federal regulators say there’s nothing to worry about — even as they rely on standards established in 1996.”



Residents of Carnegie Hill Petition: Keep streets free of the new Link5G towers.

Village Preservation Petition: Stop the Siting of Oversized and Unnecessary 5G Towers in Our Neighborhood!

I strongly oppose unnecessary oversized 5G towers in the East Village, West Village, and Meatpacking District, among other parts of New York City, and demand the public be offered real input on the siting of these massive towers in a totally rethought program.

News Stories

The 5G Moratorium states:

The following resolution was then put forward by Community Board 8:

WHEREAS; New York City, through its Office of Technology and Innovation (OTI), has contracted with CityBridge to install and operate a citywide wireless communications network; and,

WHEREAS; CityBridge installed its LinkNYC network as the initial deployment of the citywide wireless communications network intended to replace outdated public pay phones; and

WHEREAS; LinkNYC provided free 4G wireless cellular connectivity using towers placed on sidewalks throughout NYC, many of which include electronic display screens; and

WHEREAS; Community Board 8 and constituents of its district have reported adverse impacts resulting from existing LinkNYC infrastructure, including visual impacts, inappropriate usage, impacts on sidewalk clearances, and rat infestation; and

WHEREAS; CityBridge is now in the process of upgrading its LinkNYC network to Link5G to accommodate technological upgrades that have recently become commonplace in cellular communications; and

WHEREAS; Link5G infrastructure is a 32’ tall tower that is installed on sidewalks in the public right-of-way; and

WHEREAS; Link5G towers in commercial districts include electronic screens similar to those found on LinkNYC kiosks that display advertising and public information; and

WHEREAS; the design of the Link5G towers has been approved by the Public Design Commission; and

WHEREAS; Link5G must adhere to siting requirements determined by NYC Department of City Planning, and must obtain Landmarks Preservation Commission approval if sited in historic districts; and

WHEREAS; CityBridge and OTI have proposed 18 sites across Community District 8;

WHEREAS; CityBridge and OTI have stated that the siting of proposed Link5G towers in Community District 8 are based on gaps in coverage and locations where excess demand for the network exists as determined by commercial cellular carriers; and

WHEREAS; 15 of the 18 sites proposed are in or near either the Upper East Side Historic District or the Carnegie Hill Historic District, where renowned architecture and iconic streetscapes would be interfered with if Link5G structures were installed; and

WHEREAS; locations proposed along Madison Avenue would be in conflict with strict guidelines for illuminated storefronts and signage, and would be in conflict with the Special Madison Avenue Preservation District’s design standards that specifically prohibit illuminated advertising; and

WHEREAS; residents of Community District 8 have strongly objected to the design and the visual impacts that Link5G towers would have on streetscapes, both with and without screens; and

WHEREAS; there are widespread concerns that 5G towers will be constructed at distances considered too close to adjacent buildings, as has already occurred in front of 520 East 90th Street, and

WHEREAS; 10’ of distance from a tower to a residence that is permitted is extremely insufficient and should be revisited as a policy; and

WHEREAS; there are no reported issues by residents of Community District 8 of cellular gaps and frequent dropped calls that would justify Link5G being installed in the proposed locations; and

WHEREAS; the proposed sites for Link5G don’t include any locations in areas known to be potential digital deserts within Community District 8; and

WHEREAS; OTI and CityBridge have not provided detailed plans regarding the full build-out of Link5G, both within Community District 8 and in areas north of 96th Street and in the outer Boroughs; and

WHEREAS; there is a desire for any telecommunications infrastructure to be buried underground both for reliability purposes and to minimize visual impacts; and

WHEREAS; there have been questions raised by some residents as to whether sufficient research has been performed to fully assuage concerns that the radiation emitted by 5G infrastructure won’t have any long-term impacts on public health or the environment, including young children, seniors, people with medical implant devices, pets, plants, and parks;

WHEREAS; the community-at-large has expressed their views that Link5G is unnecessary and unwanted in Community District 8 at present and until many of the issues identified have been resolved;

WHEREAS; New York City is in control of this process through its contract with the provider;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Community Board 8 Manhattan disapproves the proposal as presented to install Link 5G towers in Community District 8; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a moratorium be placed on construction and planning of Link5G poles and devices in Community District 8 Manhattan


Watch a video of the Community Board 8 in Queens January 2023 where the issue was discussed and Board members asked questions about safety 

EHT Lawsuit against the FCC

There has not been a review of the adequacy of FCC limits based on a review of the totality of the science. There is no US agency with health or environmental expertise ensuring safety for cell tower radiation emissions, nor for 5G, which will employ higher frequencies and higher data rates. On August 13, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit mandated the FCC explain how its 1996 limits addressed health effects from long term exposure, especially for children and the environment in their judgment in the case Environmental Health Trust et al. v. The FCC.  Yet the FCC has not responded.

Community Board Meeting Videos

Community Board 12 February 10, 2023


Assembly Member Seawright speaks on 5G on a podcast:

Rebecca Seawright | New York State Assemblywoman | 12-12-2022

Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright & Manhattan Community Board 8:

“I announced my sponsorship of legislation to establish a commission to study the impacts of 5G on health and the environment. The community is deprived of knowing about how these sites are selected, and about the health and environmental impacts of clusters of radio frequency radiation. We aim to find out. In the meantime, we have called for a moratorium on the installation of 18 additional Link 5G NYC towers. Community Board 8 also passed a resolution this week calling for a moratorium on the construction and planning of Link 5G poles and devices in the CB8 district.” 

New  Stories 

After the New York Community Board 8 Voted Against the Towers 

Manhattan community boards, Borough President Levine call on city to slow 5G rollout | amNewYork

Preservation Alert: Stop the Massive and Unnecessary 5G Towers Coming to Your Neighborhood!

Concerns are high over massive 5G WiFi towers planned for West Village

Trio Of Wash Heights, Inwood Blocks May Get Massive 5G Towers: City | Washington Heights, NY Patch


New York City Plans to Install 14 5G Towers in Crown Heights

Towering Upper East Side 5G Poles Shot Down By Community Board

Adams dunks on Knicks legend John Starks with cell tower in front of his car dealership

NYC Map Shows Where New 5G Towers Will Be Installed – Thrillist

Failing Up: First Link5G ‘Smart Pole’ Stands Quietly in Queens – THE CITY

Privacy Advocates Say NYC’s Fix for the ‘Digital Divide’ Is a Hyper-Surveillance Mess

TV and Video News Reports

5G towers spark outrage across NYC

NYC residents concerned over new 5G kiosks

New Link NYC 5G kiosks offer better connectivity

New 5G Cell Towers May Rise 32 Feet Into The Air Across New York City

Mayor Adams, CTO Fraser, and LinkNYC Unveil First Link5G Kiosk in NYC

NYC removes last payphone in the city to make way for 5G

Vecinos de Brooklyn en NY piden quitar antenas 5G de las calles; alegan peligro para la salud | Univision 41 Nueva York WXTV

Newspaper and Print 

Upper East Side fights 32-foot 5G cell towers making ritzy shopping district ‘uglier’

What Are Those Mysterious New Towers Looming Over New York’s Sidewalks? – The New York Times

NYC Sidewalks Get Futuristic 5G Towers; Locals Startled by Updates – The Jewish Voice

New 5G tower additions leave some residents in the dark

New 5G towers are altering the streetscape all over NYC | News | Archinect

With 5G towers, progress is eye-catching, startling residents and raising questions Buffalo News 

NYC residents complain about ‘ugly’ LinkNYC 5G poles | Fierce Wireless

Brooklynites Question the Look, Locations of New Link5G Towers | Brownstoner

NYC’s New 5G LinkNYC Towers Don’t Actually Fix The Digital Divide. And They’re Ugly As Hell. | Techdirt

Opposition to 5G has been and continues to be worldwide due to numerous issues associated with it.  This has limited, slowed, and/or stopped deployment including near airports in the U.S. (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) and India (see 1, 2) due to interference issues with aviation equipment.  Since 2017, doctors and scientists have been asking for moratoriums on Earth and in space due to biological and environmental health risks (see 1, 2, 3, 4) and the majority of scientists oppose deployment.  Since 2018 there have been reports of people and animals experiencing symptoms and illnesses after it was activated (see 1, 2, 3. 4, 5, 6).  In 2019, telecom executives gave U.S. congressional testimony that they had NO independent scientific evidence that 5G is safe.  Some researchers have also warned that activation may be contributing to COVID-19 infections as well as hundreds of thousands if not millions of bird deaths.

Activist Post reports regularly about 5G and other unsafe technologies.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

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