Microwave - and other forms of electromagnetic - radiation are major (but conveniently disregarded, ignored, and overlooked) factors in many modern unexplained disease states. Insomnia, anxiety, vision problems, swollen lymph, headaches, extreme thirst, night sweats, fatigue, memory and concentration problems, muscle pain, weakened immunity, allergies, heart problems, and intestinal disturbances are all symptoms found in a disease process the Russians described in the 70's as Microwave Sickness.
According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics and the United States Congress Lobbying Disclosure website (lobbyingdisclosure.house.gov), during the first financial quarter of 2014, lobbying from traditional wireless operators held steady with a modest decrease by individual companies. At the same time, wireless industry trade association CTIA saw a modest increase in spending, while new media firms kept spending levels roughly the same as last year.
The four largest U.S. wireless companies – Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US and Sprint – spent a combined $9.6 million on lobbying efforts in the first quarter, which was down from the almost $10 million in the first quarter of last year. CTIA, which counts all four carriers as members, spent $3 million during the first quarter of this year, up slightly from the $2.9 million spent during the same period last year. In 2013, the wireless industry spent a total of $46.8 million on the combined lobbying efforts of its big four firms and one trade association. The domestic wireless industries two largest firms – Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility, which are part of larger telecom companies Verizon Communications and AT&T – were the two biggest spenders, with Verizon Wireless spending $13.7 million and AT&T Mobility spending $15.9 million. T-Mobile US, which is part of German telecom giant Deutsche Telekom, last year spent $5.2 million on lobbying. Sprint was the frugal spender of the bunch with $3.5 million spent on lobbying last year. CTIA spent $11.5 million on lobbying expenses.
Across the board, these spending levels represent a modest decline over the last decade. AT&T spent almost $28 million on lobbying in 2006; Verizon spent $18 million in 2008; Sprint spent $8.1 million in 2001; and DT/T-Mobile US spent a combined $7 million in 2006. CTIA meanwhile has shown steady growth with $6.5 million in spending in 2007, doubling to a $12 million dollar high in 2012.
While wireless lobbying has remained relatively static, the rest of the telecom industry has been more dynamic. Comcast, the cable conglomerate that competes with Verizon in the wired Internet market, spent $19 million last year. During the first quarter, spending was down from $4.4 million in 2013 to $3.2 million this year. Other tech firms that have either been established phone manufacturers or just recently expanded into some aspect of the telecom industry have seen strong spending. Google, Facebook, Amazon.com and Apple spent a total of $22.5 million last year. With Google – which is also lobbying on issues like wearable technologies and automotive transportation – spending the most at $15.8 million. Google’s first-quarter filings put it at $4 million, down slightly from $4.1 million in the first quarter of 2013.
All told, telecom and telecom-related industries spent less than $100 million dollars last year on lobbying efforts. According to the CRP report, 2013 lobbying expenditures for all industries, associations and interest groups totaled $3.23 billion. The largest industry contributor was pharmaceuticals, at a quarter-billion dollars.