FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr told attendees of the Competitive Carriers Association’s Annual Convention yesterday that his first official speech was to this show in 2017. Back then, he focused on infrastructure, spectrum and workforce development. Yesterday, Carr said the agency has made progress on all three fronts.
Carr’s learned from his travels on the road, “the biggest job creators wouldn’t be in those communities if they didn’t have access to infrastructure,” because of “the hundreds of thousands of new cell sites you’re putting up.”
“I’ve spent a lot of time with telecom technicians,” he said. “I found out D.C. had not been a great partner for you,” with “too much red tape,” and permitting, Carr said. He mentioned recent FCC reforms like eliminating historic preservation rules and upfront permitting fees for small cells. Those fees were, “escalating in the past couple of years and projected to go higher,” Carr said.
More than 200,000 small cell sites have been built and the U.S. has 33 cities live with 5G today. Over 40 are projected to be turned on by year-end, according to the commissioner.
Fast-forwarding to today, Carr said the agency plans to vote on 3.5 GHz auction rules next week. He also anticipates getting feedback on industry petitions to upgrade macro tower sites for 5G. “I hope in D.C., you’re seeing the FCC as a good partner. We’re trying to get regulations out of your way,” he concluded.
September 18, 2019