Carr Touts Industry-Backed 5G Study

Republican FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr on Tuesday praised a study supporting his plan to cut regulation for the wireless industry … which also paid for the study. The Accenture report, commissioned by CTIA, found that the order excluding small cell wireless antennas from federal environmental and historic reviews could save the industry $1.6 billion by 2026. Carr said the report “makes clear that cutting red tape means more broadband for more Americans.”

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech

While cutting red tape can increase broadband for America, it may reduce local control over where that broadband is placed in the community. 5G relies on a multitude of “small cells” installed on every street corner. To reduce cost, the telcos want to use the existing infrastructure, such as light poles, sign standards, power poles, and buildings. They want to do that without submission of environmental and historical reviews. A reduction could remove some local control over the placement of 5G antenna and network management infrastructure. The local authority is going to become a significant issue as 5G implementation become a reality in many communities which shelter influential environmental advocacy groups. On the other hand, the reduction of environmental and historical reviews reduces the opportunities to enable pay-for-play local graft schemes. I once went to a University sponsored workshop for local government administrators on how to craft pay-for-play agreements to “ensure contractors supported community goals.” At the first break, the instructor took me and another Chamber of Commerce Board member out in the hall and suggested we leave as the course was not intended for us, but for government staff members. We sat in the front row taking notes for the rest of the workshop. We had paid our entry fees and wanted to hear how government graft was taught.

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