Washington, D.C.— The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in the midst of a landmark proceeding aimed at streamlining the process of wireless infrastructure deployment to accelerate our nation’s transition to 5G, facilitate continued improvements to existing networks, and jumpstart billions of dollars of necessary investments in wireless networks. Today Mobile Future filed comments in the proceeding calling upon the FCC to pursue pro-investment policies around wireless infrastructure deployment to ensure our nation’s mobile future continues to drive innovation, job creation, competition, and economic growth in the years ahead.
“The United States led the world in 4G deployment and to secure America’s leadership role in 5G it is critical that the FCC pursue deregulatory, pro-investment policies in regards to wireless infrastructure,” said Robert M. McDowell, former FCC commissioner and Chief Public Policy Advisor to Mobile Future. “Too many regulatory barriers lie in the road to 5G. While the Commission has taken meaningful steps to ease regulatory impediments to wireless deployment in recent years, we need to streamline the process further to speed the transition to 5G and the investment and jobs that it will bring to communities across the country.”
Specifically, Mobile Future called upon the FCC to:
- Strengthen shot clocks for action on local siting applications;
- Expand exclusions from review under the National Historic Preservation Act;
- Set clear timelines for review under the National Environmental Policy Act;
- Streamline the processes for consulting with tribes regarding deployments on non-tribal lands; and
These actions will not only facilitate investment in wireless infrastructure, but also create new jobs and strengthen the United States economy. According to a recent study, providers will need to invest approximately $275 billion in next generation networks over the next seven years, which could create up to three million jobs and boost annual GDP by $500 billion.