Navy Makes Bases Safe Harbor for Wireless Development
The Navy is working on a new policy to make it easier for wireless providers to access military bases and install small wireless networks to supply faster internet service to its employees, reported Federal News Radio.
Historically, it could take five or six years for a wireless carrier to access a military base, but the Navy has cut that time down to one year, so progress is underway, but improvements are still being made.
According to Thomas Kidd III, director of the Department of the Navy’s Strategic Spectrum, his team has been working on a version 2.0 of a memorandum regarding wireless providers and military bases that will fill in the gaps in the previous memo, which includes small cells.
“There were things that we missed, things that didn’t work [in 1.0], but we’ve gotten everyone involved. We’ve planted a seed. We’ve gotten everyone back to the table,” Kidd said.
And it’s not just the infrastructure that’s under review – so is the real estate it sits upon. According to James Omans, director of real estate for the assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment, the Navy is making its property available to carriers for the public benefit.
“We worked with our real estate guys to say we’ve got to streamline this process, so we can issue easements for towers and we can issue long-term leases on equipment on structures. That was a bit of a paradigm shift for them because [the providers] were used to competing for these things and let’s pick the winner. We said, ‘This is not about picking winners. We want everyone to come and the only limiting factor should be the ability of the building to accommodate the equipment or the location of a tower consistent to our readiness requirements,’” Omans said. “We’re not picking winners and losers. We want all comers.”