MA WiFi-Electric Timeline

IMPORTANT: Do not download the file or copy and paste and save the below because the file came up as corrupted and this needs to be fixed. When it is fixed, this will be removed.

PDF: MA Wireless History Timeline

With thanks to all the people working towards positive change!

1997 Boston physicians sign a Petition to Avert Harmful, Public Exposure to Pulsed Microwave Radiation that states: We the undersigned physicians and scientists call upon public health officials to intervene to halt the initiation of communication transmissions employing ground level, horizontally transmitted, pulsed microwaves in Boston. This form of transmission is scheduled to begin June, 1997, by the Sprint Corporation for personal communications systems (PCS). Given the biological plausibility of negative health impacts, particularly to the human nervous system, as well as anecdotal evidence of illness and death from such exposures in cities where transmission has already been implemented, and voluminous medical studies indicating human and ecological harm from microwaves, we urge the suspension of that implementation pending full public notification of its potential hazards and the full review and determination of its safety by the scientific community.
2011 Due to a cancer cluster in his district, state Rep. David Paul Linsky introduces a bill to study power lines and electrical wiring health impacts and continues each following legislative session without success.
2013 Worcester is the ‘lab rat’ for a pilot of ‘smart’ utility metershealth & privacy impacts are ignored despite concerns raised by Halt MA Smart Meters and others. The cost is c. 45 million to trial 15,000 meters.
2013 MA state Rep. Thomas Conroy (D) and Sen. James Eldridge sponsor H. 2926, and from 2015 to present Senator Michael Moore is the lead sponsor of a bill to allow free use of non-transmitting electromechanical meters which continues to be sent to study to present day. In 2022, the bill has 10 sponsors, several running for office (Hinds, Gouveia, DiZiglio).
2013 The cities of Boston and Philadelphia file in FCC docket 13-84 to say that disability and electromagnetic sensitivity remain unaddressed and that some clearly suffer.
2014 The MA Dept. of Utilities holds hearings to roll out ‘smart’ meters – docket 12-76. In Boston, detailed testimonies are given of harm, with the EMR Policy Institute submitting c. 20 documents alone, and online many more comments filed of personal harm alongside several expert comments. Industry consultant Peter Valberg, on the side of industry in any toxic tort, is the lone voice in favor, and he alone joins the DPU in a committee to push forward.
2015 Harvard Edmund J Safra Center for Ethics publishes, by fellow Norm Alster: Captured Agency: How the Federal Communications Commission is Dominated by the Industries it Presumably Regulateshighlighting FCC corruption.


3 more bills are introduced in the MA state legislature, by request: 1 physician training (Kirstin Beatty) and 2 wireless health impacts investigation (Kirstin Beatty and Cece Doucette) – legislators eventually develop an alternative bill that may come to vote in 2022, but Beatty has concerns and proposes amendments.
2015 Kirstin Beatty and Patricia Burke form a ballot question committee, Citizens for Safer Radiation Technology for an investigative commission bill, but don’t get enough signatures.
2015 The Ashland, MA, school committee approves posting ‘best practices’ in every classroom: turning off unused devices and WiFi, keeping 12” distance from screens, placing mobile devices on solid surfaces, reminding and instructing students, and avoiding laptop use. The Worcester, MA, school committee adopts a similar policy May 2017.
2015 Parents of an 11-year-old sue the school for failing to accommodate their child’s sensitivity and forcing exposure to Wi-Fi frequencies. The court acknowledges the sensitivity, but does not allow damages as the child leaves the school and the court believes this settles the problem.
2017 Verizon applies for a permit to test 5G UWB antennas for trials running 6 months from January 2, 2017 and running through June 2 in Natick and Brockton
2017 Verizon plans to deploy 7,000 to 10,000 ‘small cell’ antennas in Boston, which are cell tower antennas placed atop utility poles and similar structures and quite powerful – see map.


5 new well-intentioned bills are introduced by Senator Cyr, Rep. Carolyn Dykema, and resident Kirstin Beatty (by request). Bills are for point of sale clear warnings, device warning labels, to continue but manage wireless with ‘best practices’, health insurance coverage of wireless and electricity exposure mitigation in lymphoma and leukemia, and wireless prohibitions on school grounds. Surprisingly, the last moves forward. None pass.
2017 [De]Personalized [computer] learning, where privatized computer software teaches and monitors students at the expense of human teaching, is opposed overwhelmingly by a grassroots vote at the Massachusetts Teachers Association, which votes for documentation of harm, research, and a web page to share findings. Alison McDowell’s site Wrench in the Gears provides details. Some feel the MTA has failed on this issue.
2018 When a cell tower 200 feet from their home adds new equipment and 30 feet, Dana and Robert Strayton file a complaint stating that the emissions adversely impact Robert’s medical equipment. They lose as the Superior and Appeals Court agree that local authorities cannot consider environmental health impacts, nor can evidence be introduced at trial, as stated in section 704 of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996.
2018 The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition hosts Dr. Devra Davis, who shared a Nobel Prize with Al Gore as part of IPCC scientists and whose work has focused on toxins like cellphones, in a webinar and later creates student learning modules.
Verizon withdraws an application in Burlington for small cells, which are cell tower antennas placed on light poles or similar, due to proposed annual recertification fees. Burlington finishes and adopts a new ordinance to limit these cells.


16 well-intentioned bills are filed. Based on local problems, Sen. Keenan and others introduce a bill to require local approval for railway antennas. Through their legislators, Patricia Burke and Pamela Steinberg submit bills to correct false financial reporting of the Worcester smart meter pilot project. Through her legislators, Kirstin Beatty submits 10 bills, such as to map wireless facilities and require hard-wired investments, also cosponsored by Rep. Carlos Gonzalez. A bill to limit screen time and data collection in schools is also filed by Beatty, since screen time leads to exposures and data collection not only is a driver of infrastructure but a problem in itself.

Although well-intentioned, advocates are divided on a new wireless investigative commission bill sponsored by Sen. Julian Cyr and Rep. Jack Lewis and the Rep. Carolyn Dykema’s best wireless practices bill, the former for fear of whitewash and the latter as it continues to support wireless in schools, and so Beatty starts working on amendments in 2019. Further divisions arise over a H. 383 to plan 5G deployment, which is mistakenly marketed as beneficial. None pass.

2019 A public records request is denied to release a MA public health department mitigation fact sheet developed in 2016.
2019 Verizon Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) – a 5G band – deploys in parts of Boston such as Fenway Park, some universities, c. 19 November. Gillette Stadium, of the New England Patriots, has the service by the start of the season. The Pave Paws radar also uses UWB.
2020 August 26th the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts agrees with the City of Cambridge, MA, that it has the right to identify at any time deficiencies in cellular applications and deny them on that basis.
2020 Boston files in FCC docket 19-226 that it “believes the concerns of the public are real and that the Commission has done a disservice to itself, local government, consumers, and even the wireless industry8 in failing to understand and respond to the broadly shared mistrust of the safety of RF [wireless] emissions.”
2021 The Massachusetts Association for Boards of Health includes a legal discussion of blocking cell towers based upon health risks on the last 4 pages of its’ Legal Handbook and Public Health Guidebook for Massachusetts Boards of Health.
2021 State bills are introduced by many of the same parties, and additionally Representative Patricia Duffy, after reading, sponsors several of Kirstin Beatty’s bills, such as to move towards hard-wiring schools.
2021 After testimony by Dr. Cindy Russell and Dr. David Carpenter, an amended version of a wireless resolution introduced by resident Dr. Lisa Nagy is adopted: That the Massachusetts Medical Society supports continuing research, including quality epidemiologic studies, by appropriate agencies and entities to produce evidence-based data on the effect(s) of radio frequency radiation on human health. If indicated, study findings should be used to revise and update public health standards for safe limits of human exposure to radio frequency radiation.


Several Pittsfield residents become very ill when a cell tower is built in their neighborhood. They sue the town for not providing notice by mail, and lose since the law does not require it. Courtney Gilardi and others campaign to turn it off by educating local officials, persuading the health board to mandate removal with a cease and desist order. In May, Verizon wireless sues in federal court before the town can sue for Verizon’s failure to abide by the order.


Because concrete action to reduce wireless exposures appears stalled and because leadership is suspected of being at fault, focused amendments are developed to limit opposition. These need courageous sponsors right now, as finding the right time to amend is not easy.

We need courageous sponsors right now, as finding the right time to amend is not easy and time is running short – action must take place long before 31 July, when the formal session ends as legislators often end up pulling late nights to pass legislation in big chunks as the end nears.

If you are a Massachusetts resident, please contact your state legislators and ask them to:

How do I contact my legislators?

You can find contact information for your legislators online or, if impossible, the main statehouse number may work: (617) 722-2000.

These are the best ways:

  1. Meet face to face, when they in your district, at events, or in their office.
  2. Phone call – leave a concise message with their aide.
  3. Write a letter.
  4. Email – this is not the best way because these are often not read, but bulk deleted.

Note: I’m seeking a paper, I believe in the 1990s but possibly earlier, from the director of the Massachusetts public health department on the hazards of non-ionizing radiation that I’ve lost – if you have a list of former heads, please send this to me. Also, I don’t have time to include everything, please send it to me in an email or .txt document.


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Kirstin Beatty