Brookings makes three important points. 1. The U.S. must rapidly adopt complementary public policies with timelines that address ongoing spectrum shortage concerns. 2. The deployment of small cell technologies must become a priority to accelerate 5G infrastructure. 3. Stakeholders involved in 5G deployment must keep top of mind the economic and social good that these next-generation networks can deliver.
The first one is a role for Federal Government, the second and third have a role for local and state government working with industry stakeholders The Brookings view:
“It is equally important that local, federal, and industry stakeholders work collaboratively on small cell deployment, which is the technical architecture required at the local level. With more than 89,000 local governments in the U.S., policymakers must strike a balance that harmonizes and expedites processes and approvals, and still provides specific localities, especially tribal lands, the ability to provide guidance on safety and aesthetics.”
“To this end, policymakers should identify and work on laws and regulations at the municipal, state, and federal levels that effectuate a 5G game plan. Jurisdictions without a plan should employ strategies for advancing wireless networks rather than delay the deployment of next-generation mobile networks for their residents, including updates to the guiderails for state and local siting. As of June 1, 2018, 20 states have enacted legislation modernizing regulations to facilitate small cell deployment, and more should follow suit.”
“Congress is also taking its own steps to expedite 5G readiness. Last month, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Communications Subcommittee Ranking Member Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced legislation to speed up small cell deployment called the Streamlining the Rapid Evolution and Modernization of Leading-Edge Infrastructure Necessary to Enhance Small Cell Deployment Act (or STREAMLINE Small Cell Deployment Act). The legislation creates a shot clock between 60 and 90 days for state and local governments to decide on industry applications for small cell installation. If the entity misses the deadline, the application would be automatically approved. The legislation also ensures that localities don’t foot the bill for installation of small cells, and requires reasonable cost-based fees for processing applications. Finally, the bill calls for a GAO study on the important issue of identifying barriers to broadband deployment on tribal lands.”
The emphasized text highlights the need for community broadband strategic plans, a community without a plan with a clear vision for the future, the industry stakeholders are in the catbird seat. Armed with federal rules, they will put 5G technology wherever it reduces installation costs. It is important that communities recognize the economic benefits and not cripple their communities while other communities with a plan prosper.
These three points are not meant to be exhaustive, but a starting point for building a sustainable, competitive, and resilient 5G game plan. The game plan should also include proposals on policies that accelerate fiber availability and regulatory permissions that should go to wireline providers that are also critical to 5G deployment.
But what should be evident is that without a plan that addresses both the priorities of multiple stakeholders as well as the technical requisites of this emerging technology, the U.S. will not be 5G-ready, thereby falling behind our global competitors who seek dominance in the ecology driving the next-generation of wireless networks.
Brookings full text HERE.