The FCC Removes 5G Deployment Red Tape With Mixed Reactions

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In short: The United States Federal Communications Commission removed a significant portion of the bureaucratic red tape surrounding 5G deployment as part of its Wednesday meeting, having done so to a mixed response from both the public and its own officials. The move comes in two parts – a Declaratory Ruling that limits fees associated with small infrastructure buildouts meant to support 5G, as well as a codex revolving around the so-called shot clocks pertaining to specific deployment cases.

Background: Wireless carriers and certain industry associations have been advocating for such a move for several years now, complaining about what they deemed were unreasonably high fees for installations and applications pertaining to 5G buildouts. The GOP leadership of the FCC granted those wishes and was praised for doing so by several high-profile entities, including the Internet Innovation Alliance and Taxpayers Protection Alliance who welcomed the move and described it as an important step to achieving swift and cost-effective deployment of the next generation of wireless networks. On the other hand, Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said that while she supports shorter 5G deployment deadlines with the aforementioned codex mandates, she's against completely eliminating local communities from the equation and doesn't believe there's a one-size-fits-all solution to stateside buildouts. Her sentiment was previously expressed by a number of DNC politicians and state-level government officials.

Impact: While the wireless industry has been calling for 5G red tape removal for some time now, there's no evidence to suggest that its deployment efforts were slowed down by any costs associated with them. The federal government already helped the bottom lines of network operators in the country with its historic tax cut enacted late last year and given how that move hasn't sped up 5G buildouts, these less substantial cuts aimed at lowering deployment costs are unlikely to do so either.

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