Good News: FCC Proposes to Streamline 5G Small-Cell Siting Process

By / 3.5.2018

PPI has repeatedly made the economic case that accelerating the deployment of 5G  is essential for boosting growth.   For example, in a 2016 report, we estimated that next generation wireless could add 0.7 percentage points annually to economic growth.* Moreover, as we noted in a January 2018 report, 5G networks can play a key role in reviving manufacturing and other physical industries, and enabling what we call the “Internet of Goods.”**

For these reasons, we strongly support the FCC’s new proposal to streamline the deployment of next generation wireless facilities by reducing the federal regulatory burden for establishing new sites, to be voted on at their March 22 meeting. The FCC says that  their revised approach to small cells “could cut the regulatory costs of deployment by 80 percent, trim months off of deployment timelines, and incentivize thousands of new wireless deployments—thus expanding the reach of 5G and other advanced wireless technologies to more Americans.”

In our view, the FCC is making a significant contribution to economic growth by proposing policies that that encourage the rapid deployment of 5G networks.  The revival of local manufacturing, and other physical industries that are part of the Internet of Goods,  requires high speed mobile broadband to be as pervasive as possible.  Regulations that delay or depress the build-out of these networks are standing in the way of higher living standards for Americans.

*”Long-term U.S. Productivity Growth and Mobile Broadband: The Road Ahead,” March 2016

**”The Internet of Goods and a Revitalized Economy: Upstate New York as a Template“, January 2018