Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show 5G Installation At Texas School

Hoax Alert

  • by: Ryan Cooper
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show 5G Installation At Texas School Not 5G!

Does a video show workers installing 5G, the fifth-generation wireless technology, at a school in Lindale, Texas? No, that's not true: Lead Stories spoke with the general manager and CEO of Etex Communications, the telecommunications company seen in a viral video doing work outside of a school. He said the contractor was helping to install fiber optic cable that doesn't use 5G technology.

The claim originated in a post (archived here) published on Facebook by IJ Hribal on March 25, 2020. It opened:

Since no one at LISD has contacted me back, I decided to go find out for myself what is happening at our school district. No one can say they AREN'T installing 5G at the schools while we are all at home on lockdown.

Users on social media only saw this:

The video, which has generated more than 1,300 shares as of March 27, 2020, has also been captured and shared on YouTube with the headline, "PROOF! 5G Being Installed in Many Schools." That video has been viewed more than 16,000 times.

However, it's not true. Lead Stories spoke with Charlie Cano, the general manager and CEO of Etex Communications, the company installing fiber optics at the school. He issued this statement:

Etex was contracted to provide a robust fiber optic network for the SUPERNet school consortium. Lindale ISD is part of that group. Etex was awarded this contract in October of 2019 and is under a tight timeframe to connect a 280 mile fiber network by June of 2020. The following website is tracking this project and can provide more information regarding the consortium.

http://supernet.etex.net/

This project is not a 5G installation. Etex Communications does not own any 5G spectrum, nor do the schools. This could be validated by searching the FCC website. This project will give the schools access to a high-speed fiber optic network with the ability of continued growth. In the video, I appreciate the customer service and professionalism our contractor showed to the concerned parent. As a fellow Mexican-American, I know he didn't fully understand the reference to 5G and thought he was being helpful. We look forward to completing this project and giving the students in rural America a dependable network.

Lead Stories contacted the school, E.J. Moss Intermediate, but no one answered the phone. Schools in Texas are among those across the country currently shut down to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Cano told us that the Federal Communications Commission has classified Etex as an essential services provider, and that is why the company is continuing to operate, even as other businesses are temporarily closed due to COVID-19.

There is a lot of misinformation online regarding 5G. Here are some fact checks that Lead Stories has done on the topic:


  Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper, a staff writer and fact-checker for Lead Stories, is the former Director of Programming at CNN International, where he helped shape the network's daily newscasts broadcast to more than 280 million households around the world. He was based at the network's Los Angeles Bureau. There, he managed the team responsible for a three-hour nightly program, Newsroom LA.

Formerly, he worked at the headquarters in Atlanta, and he spent four years at the London bureau. An award-winning producer, Cooper oversaw the network's Emmy Award-winning coverage of the uprising in Egypt in 2011. He also served as a supervising producer during much of the network's live reporting on the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in 2006, for which CNN received an Edward R. Murrow Award.

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