Actions taken by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) in late March are aimed specifically at helping telecommunications and technology companies achieve their goal of a fully-operational 5G network as fast as possible.
As we saw at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, the talk around this next-gen wireless communications technology has reached a boiling point. A majority of the major carriers are already testing their 5G networks through small-scale deployments in select cities across the country. But the FCC would like to see those testing zones get online more frequently and more often.
To accomplish that, the commission approved new rules that will streamline the review process for approving new 5G facilities. In short, the FCC has made it easier for carriers to set up small cell deployment facilities throughout the country without having to jump through all kinds of regulatory hoops to get those projects approved. Previously, the National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act were required to review small cell installations. These small cells, as explained by Business Insider, are advanced radio hardware that are required for 5G networks.
“By cutting unnecessary red tape, we’ll make it substantially easier for carriers to build next-generation wireless networks throughout the United States,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. “That means faster and more reliable wireless services for American consumers and businesses. That means more wireless innovation, such as novel applications based on the Internet of Things. And ultimately, that means American leadership in 5G.”
As pointed out by Business Insider, the revised small cell rules will create two major benefits for the deployment of 5G here in the U.S. It’ll speed up the rollout of those small cell installations by shortening the approval process, effectively making it possible for more small cells to be approved more quickly. And it will reduce the cost of deploying small cells. Currently, according to BI’s analysis, the federal review process accounts for roughly 30 percent of the deployment of a single small cell. Eliminating the cost of deployment with the updated rules will save an estimated $1.56 billion during the entire 5G rollout process.