Realtors Embrace 5G…Sort Of

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UPDATE “The real estate associations strongly support the deployment of broadband infrastructure of all kinds because apartment residents, commercial tenants, and their customers need and want the service that the infrastructure supports,” stated a coalition of realty professionals in a letter to the FCC, reports Realtor Magazine. The group was comprised of members of the National Association of Realtors, the National Apartment Association, the National Multifamily Housing Council, and the Institute of Real Estate Management and others.

Despite its statement of encouragement, the group’s purpose in contacting the Commission, was to express its concern about antenna placement. In April, the agency proposed to revise its rule for over-the-air reception devices (OTARD) to help spur 5G deployment. Among other things, the Commission is suggesting to allow broadband “hubs” – pizza box-sized small cells – on private property to serve groups of homes and businesses, helping align OTARD rules with how today’s wireless broadband networks are being built.

The real estate associations say the proposed OTARD rule could be detrimental to building owners. Two main points of contention were noted:

  • 5G roll-out provisions could allow tenants leasing space, residential or commercial, to set up their own booster devices without involving the property owner.
  • Telecoms already sited on rooftop aeries could add 5G equipment without renegotiating with the property owner.

The coalition wrapped up it’s letter to the FCC with these words: “The real estate associations believe strongly the marketplace is working, and so we urge the Commission to avoid measures that could prove counterproductive, and thereby harm investment, constrain competition, and limit consumer access to broadband service. We are also concerned that inopportune regulation could raise the cost of developing multifamily housing and commercial real estate.”  

June 26, 2019

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