FCC to vote on proposal to speed up 5G deployment

FCC to vote on proposal to speed up 5G deployment
© Greg Nash

The Federal Communications Commission will vote next month on a proposal to speed up the deployment of 5G networks by allowing certain wireless facilities to bypass environmental impact reviews and other assessments.

Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr announced the proposal in a speech Wednesday, saying that removing regulatory barriers will help the U.S. remain competitive as countries around the world prepare to roll out the new technology.

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“The rest of the world is very conscious of our leadership in 4G, and they are questioning whether we will have the resolve to take the deregulatory steps necessary to extend our leadership into 5G,” said Carr. “Regulators in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world all want to ensure that their countries lead the way in 5G.”

The proposal would exempt small wireless facilities from having to obtain environmental and historic reviews that Carr says were intended for larger cell sites. He believes that the move would halve the deployment time for small sites and cut regulatory costs by as much as 80 percent.

The text of the proposal will be released on Thursday, and the FCC will vote on it at its monthly meeting on March 22.