5G will affect millions of neighborhoods

Mar 9, 2018 by

If the fight over 5G hasn’t hit your town yet, chances are it’s coming. What’s behind the battle? We fill you in with our full investigation.

Also this week:
— How the hypersonic missiles Putin touted have the potential to change the weapons race
— More women are running for office than ever, but they may not make a dent just yet
— We found money spent to “honor” lawmakers and officials isn’t always disclosed
— The DCCC emails aren’t asking for money — until they are

And in case you missed our big announcement yesterday, we’re looking to build a community — and we want you as a member. See “The Latest at the Center” for more on the launch.


5G wireless pits cities against telecoms and their friends in the FCC

President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January calling on federal agencies “to use all viable tools” to build broadband in rural areas on federal lands.

“Those towers are going to go up, and you’re going to have great, great broadband,” Trump said.

But telecom companies don’t have plans to expand 5G to rural areas. Where are they going? To urban and suburban neighborhoods where the business-friendly FCC is considering rules that would limit local governments from having as much of a say over where they go, how they look and how much they can charge for use of public property. Published in partnership with the New York Times 


FCC says small cells will close the digital divide. Most say they won’t
Residents worried about small cell safety have been waiting years for federal guidance
Watch it on Newsy: How 5G Technology Will Change Your Neighborhood 

A speech by Putin heats up a global arms race in hypersonic weapons

In a March 1 speech, Russian president Vladimir Putin touted high-tech armaments, issuing the most provocative statements yet in the race between superpowers to develop and deploy an entirely new class of weaponry: hypersonic missiles.

Along with increased stealth and maneuverability, these missiles would allow a nation to strike an adversary in minutes. But they could also upend the strategic calculations that have helped push off any direct conflict between nuclear powers. Published in partnership with Salon and The Verge 

It’s a steep hill to climb for women running for state office

There is a record number of women running for office in 2018 – but that may not necessarily translate into victories. Experts warn that several factors, including male incumbencies and higher scrutiny of women’s qualifications, could act as a sea wall that prevents women from making it far enough to reach new political shores. Published in partnership with Salon 

Companies court lawmakers with charitable giving, but don’t always disclose the funds

By law, corporations and organizations that lobby the federal government must disclose certain charitable contributions to nonprofits – along with money spent to “honor” lawmakers and high-level executive branch officials if the spending meets certain criteria. But our analysis found more than 20 companies and trade associations that failed to disclose payments to nonprofit groups aligned with government officials or aimed at honoring lawmakers they may want to influence. Published in partnership with NBC News

Are congressional Democrats lying their way to riches?

Emails from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee say they’re not asking for money. Instead, they ask you to take surveys and download badges in support of the party. But click through far enough, and you’re prompted to donate. Critics say these tactics are a tacit admission by Democrats, who have railed against false representations and “alternative facts,” that they are parking their principles in pursuit of 2018 midterm campaign cash. Published in partnership with Salon 


— WATCH: What Big Oil knew, and when they knew it: A video series by The YEARS Project explores government-oil industry ties uncovered by the Center’s United States of Petroleum investigation. Also, a lawsuit filed by the group Our Children’s Test, covered in part 3 of the series, is moving forward after a judge tossed out a request by the Trump administration to stop the case.

— Despite widespread opposition, Trump moved ahead to sign orders imposing new tariffs on imported steal and aluminum. Here’s what we wrote last year about who might stand to lose the most: Trump-country areas like Northwest Georgia.


Secret NYPD Files: Officers Can Lie And Brutally Beat People — And Still Keep Their Jobs (BuzzFeed News) 

Overdoses, DUIs, stolen drugs: Florida’s third-biggest fire rescue department has a problem (Tampa Bay Times) 

The Price They Pay (New York Times in partnership with ProPublica) 

Florida Public School Teacher Has A White Nationalist Podcast (Huffington Post) 


— Join our brand new membership program! We’re developing a strong community that cares about holding the powerful accountable, and we hope you’ll join in. We have great new ways for members to engage with our reporters and leadership, and learn more about how our unbiased investigative reporting makes a difference. Become a member 

— Our team earned four Best in Business honors from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Check out the stories here.

— In the News: Dave Levinthal on WBEN on Sam Nunberg’s ‘No Good, Very Bad Day,‘ on WHNH’s ‘The Attitude with Arnie Arnesen,’ discussing companies and groups’ failure to disclose charitable funds, and SiriusXM’s POTUS Politics to talk about DCCC fundraising.


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