The FCC is aiming both to promote the spread of broadband and prepare for 5G networking with a new "One Touch Make Ready" approach to U.S. infrastructure handling. Previously, each company with equipment attached to a pole was required to move its own hardware around to make room for new utilities and that had to be done in a specified order. Not only is that very time-consuming, but it also costs each company a significant amount of money to do. Under the new rules, a single construction crew will be able to move in and prepare utility poles for new additions. Effectively, companies looking to install 5G hardware on a new pole can focus on that instead of worrying about the logistics of rearranging existing infrastructure. According to the FCC, it will also have the added benefit of improving matters for broadband companies and small operators looking to spread out their networks.
Of course, the FCC's efforts here won't necessarily make things better for every competing company, at every location within the U.S. Specifically, local and municipality regulations surrounding the use of utility poles could still result in a slowdown of network rollout. Some cities already require that the owner of a utility pole is notified and approves changes. Others that have implemented One Touch Make Ready regulations also have requirements in place require that companies already occupying a utility pole to be given a set time-frame for moving their own installation. Only once that time-frame has passed is another carrier or organization allowed to rearrange the infrastructure with its own crew.
However, that's not all the FCC has been doing to promote 5G in its bid to win the still ongoing race to be first. In addition to freeing up portions of the 37 GHz band and the entirety of the 24 GHz band, the FCC has also been gearing up for auctions of frequencies that will be required for providers to operate 5G networks. That includes further proposals to change the handling of the 39 GHz and 47 GHz bands in hopes of allowing some spectrum from those to be auctioned off. Moreover, portions of the 24 GHz and 28 GHz are set to be sold off at auctions starting on November 14.