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August 2, 2018

FCC Moving to Improve America’s 5G Readiness .

FCC Moving to Improve America’s 5G Readiness

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CTIA SVP Scott Bergmann
Scott Bergmann
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs

Spectrum. Infrastructure. The two key issues for America’s success in the global race to 5G. Today, the FCC took strides in both areas.

First, the agency took important steps to free up high-band spectrum. Second, the FCC removed a key barrier that is slowing deployment of next-generation wireless infrastructure.

High-band Spectrum

High-band spectrum is a critical input to 5G networks. These airwaves will power breakthrough, wireless-enabled innovations around remote healthcare, connected vehicles, smart grids and other key parts of our lives.

At the beginning of this year, however, we didn’t have any high-band auctions scheduled. But now, thanks to the FCC’s efforts to make the U.S. more 5G-ready, we will bring five key blocks of high band spectrum to auction by the end of 2019.

So we applaud the FCC’s actions today to set procedures for the 28 GHz and 24 GHz auctions that will begin this November and propose to auction additional high-band spectrum—the 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands—next year.

The Commission has demonstrated its resolve to continue U.S. wireless leadership, and we encourage the FCC to continue its efforts to unlock more millimeter wave bands for commercial wireless use, as well as its critical work to make available mid-band spectrum.

Wireless Infrastructure

Just as important is the FCC’s ongoing work to streamline siting for wireless infrastructure.

Today, the FCC also made clear that state and local moratoria on wireless deployment are prohibited. Whether explicit or implicit, permanent or temporary, too many municipalities continue to prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the deployment of wireless infrastructure. Such moratoria are harmful to the next generation of wireless services and run counter to the law—not to mention wise public policy—and the FCC is right to affirm that federal law prohibits such activity.

Today’s actions—and others that the FCC is considering, such as setting sensible timelines for local siting reviews and ensuring that siting fees are reasonable —will speed up the deployment of tomorrow’s wireless networks. And the stakes of faster deployment are significant. 5G deployment is projected to boost annual GDP by $500 billion, and we can unlock an additional $100 billion by reducing the timelines associated with regulatory reviews for small cell deployment by 12 months.

Those are big numbers with major implications for our country’s future. Thankfully, the FCC’s actions today demonstrate that the FCC recognizes what’s at stake and we encourage the Commission to continue these efforts—through its open infrastructure siting and mid-band proceedings—to position the U.S. as a 5G leader.

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