Industry Groups Worried Shutdown Will Hurt 5G Rollout


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The government shutdown, among other things, is preventing the FCC from certifying new equipment, which could hurt the deployment of 5G, according to several industry associations. Key activities within the Commission and industry associations have been disabled as well, creating a myriad of problems, inconveniences and full stops to buildout.

Wireless Industry Association President/CEO Jonathan Adelstein tells Inside Towers, the industry is beginning to feel the impact as the partial government shutdown enters its fourth week.

 “Several agencies and reporting systems are not available, meaning requests for new or modified structures will be delayed,” according to Adelstein.

  • The FCC’s Antenna Structure Registration System (ASR) is not available, meaning no submissions for new or modified structures are being accepted.
  • The FAA’s Obstruction Evaluation Group (OEG) is closed, so submissions for new or modified structures are not being accepted and previously submitted applications will not be processed.
  • At WIA, their Frequency Coordination Group is unable to submit new applications to the FCC for frequency use.  

“We are hopeful that the government will soon reopen. WIA stands prepared to help our industry weather any impact the shutdown has caused,” said Adelstein.

The Telecommunications Industry Association is concerned as well. TIA told the FCC Friday, “The unavailability of this process will have a serious and negative impact on the approval of new connected devices that are designed to enable both 5G deployment and the full ecosystem of next generation technologies that 5G will support.”

TIA urged the agency to leave open its equipment authorization system during any shutdown, just as it has left open several other systems currently accessible through its website. “To ensure the Commission retains its right to review device approvals after the shutdown ends, TIA supports having the FCC’s 30-day review period kick in once full agency operations resume,” said TIA SVP Government Affairs Cinnamon Rogers.  

TIA also said other, long-term solutions are worth considering. “The FCC needs to complete a long-running equipment authorization proceeding that will likely remove some categories of devices that present limited risk from needing direct FCC approval,” according to Rogers. “In the interest of streamlining the process generally, the FCC needs to allow for automatic certification by accredited third-party testing labs for more categories of devices than it does presently.”  Comments? Email Us.

January 15, 2019   

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