Wireless provides many benefits to our daily lives and while the spectrum delivering that news article, weather report or family photo to your smartphone is invisible, there is physical infrastructure behind the magic.
As smartphone and data use continues to surge this underlying infrastructure needs modernizing to keep pace - especially if we want to win the global race to 5G.
Next generation 5G wireless networks will rely on small cells, the size of pizza boxes, which will require more efficient siting rules for their installation to lamp posts and utility poles.
The good news is that Congress is putting its shoulder to the wheel to ensure our broadband infrastructure gets a needed upgrade. The wireless industry is also ready to play its part by investing $275 billion and creating three million new jobs to make 5G a free market reality.
The House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee is holding a hearing tomorrow morning that will address this very issue, and CTIA’s Executive Vice President Brad Gillen will be among those testifying.
The hearing follows the introduction of a flurry of bills addressing this challenge. Nearly every bill reflects the importance of wireless connectivity for constituents and local economies.
We also know that a majority of Americans living in poverty, as defined by the government, live in households that are wireless only where a cell phone connection provides a critical economic and social link.
From Representative John Shimkus’ SPEED Act and Representative Pete Olson’s legislation addressing siting reviews, to the Broadband Deployment Streamlining Act, introduced by Representatives Susan Brooks and Doris Matsui, it’s clear that upgrading our broadband infrastructure is a national priority.
What do all these bills have in common?
They all seek to enhance and streamline mobile broadband connectivity, including for rural communities. They will help spur investment and create new jobs through broadband infrastructure.
The common sense measures in these bills, including provisions to streamline wireless deployments and improve siting efficiency, will boost Americans access to improved education and healthcare services, as well as new consumer and business opportunities.
Chairman Blackburn and her fellow lawmakers recognize the economic potential of 5G, and we’ll continue working with all stakeholders, including the Administration and the FCC, to ensure America’s broadband infrastructure gets its needed overhaul.
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