States Begin to Lay a Foundation for Private 5G Infrastructure Deployment

By at 3 April, 2018, 8:48 am

Small Business Insider

by Raymond J. Keating-

Small business and consumers are looking forward to the deployment of 5G wireless technology. Already having benefitted from the investments made in broadband technology and networks – both wired and wireless – the entrepreneurial sector of our economy understands the further substantial innovations to be generated from the deployment of 5G networks hold greater rewards, such as vastly enhanced speed, reliability and access. This is critical for small businesses to compete and grow, especially in underserved areas, like rural America.

SBE Council hosted a roundtable discussion on March 14, 2018, which covered the implications of 5G for the economy, entrepreneurship, and small businesses across industries and the nation. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr was part of a discussion emphasizing an FCC order that would streamline the deployment of 5G in reference to potential federal obstacles. Thankfully, that order passed the FCC on March 22.

SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan observed, “Access to fast and reliable broadband is important to the growth and pursuit of entrepreneurship in every corner of the United States. Today’s action by the FCC, led by Commissioner Brendan Carr, means America’s entrepreneurs and small businesses can plan on a future that enables their growth. Our risk-takes will have access to the technology they need to start strong, reach and serve customers where they are, and successfully grow.  The FCC’s bold action will accelerate the availability of 5G technology, which means our economy and businesses will be more innovative, resilient and competitive.”

But there’s more work to do, especially at the state and local levels. During the March 14 SBE Council event, as noted in a blog post summarizing the discussion, “there was a productive discussion about the FCC and others working with states and localities in terms of rationalizing their rules, regulations and fee structures so as to incentivize, rather than discourage, 5G investment and deployment. Currently, some states and localities are leading the way, while others badly lag behind.”

As noted in the accompanying map from the CTIA – The Wireless Association, by February of this year, at least 15 states had passed smart cell legislation that modernizes procedures, makes it easier and reduces costs to make critical investments in 5G, thereby expanding access to affordable, reliable and advanced networks.

Source: “Future of Wireless,” CTIA, March 2018

In addition to those noted in the CTIA map, in Utah on March 20, Governor Gary Herbert signed the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act, which had passed the state legislature unanimously.

State lawmakers who rationalize the process for deploying 5G networks will open the door to more investment and innovation in their states, with residents – including consumers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, educational institutions, medical providers, and large firms – reaping tremendous benefits.


Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

Keating’s latest book published by SBE Council is titled Unleashing Small Business Through IP:  The Role of Intellectual Property in Driving Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Investment and it is available free on SBE Council’s website here.

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