Friday , 14 December 2018
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Make it easier for companies to set up 5G equipment on public land, lawmakers say – Orlando Sentinel

Make it easier for companies to set up 5G equipment on public land, lawmakers say – Orlando Sentinel

Local governments are blasting a bill that would let telecommunications giants attach suitcase-sized boxes to telephone poles on public property at a modest cost and with little oversight as part of the new superfast 5G wireless technology.

According to the bill that sailed through the Legislature last week, governments would be prohibited from charging telecommunications companies — such as AT&T, Verizon and Sprint — more than $150 per pole annually to use the public right of way for their equipment.

With a $150 cap, Florida counties stand to lose as much as $145 million — including $17 million in Central Florida — annually if the bill becomes law, according to estimates from the Florida Association of Counties, which strongly opposes the bill.

Large retirement communities, such as The Villages northwest of Orlando, would be exempt from the restrictions and allowed to negotiate potentially much higher fees with telecommunications companies.

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