How State and Local Government Can Ensure 5G’s Future


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5G anticipation is all the rage, and Richard Adler of the Institute for the Future recently shared his thoughts on three ways that state and local governments can help in the United States at least until 2020, when 5G is expected to hit.

Adler’s press call touched on three main points of supporting 5G in the future, according to TechRepublic. While mobile data traffic has increased tenfold over the past 10 years, 5G will help boost those numbers even more, thanks to millimeter wave band that will increase capacity.

Adler said during the call that more small cells will be needed to “make sure devices are always within range” because of a denser network and more access points. Additionally, Adler called for “more involvement … needed from state and local governments to guarantee three things: access, timeliness and cost-efficiency.”

TechRepublic also noted that Adler called for state and local governments to “make permitted use available as an option for these small cell access points.” This includes a consideration of public rights-of-way and utility pole access. Adler said that to aid in this goal, governing bodies should allow “a single permit application to cover multiple access points, and they should work on streamlining the processes for approving permits and plans regarding 5G development.”

Expense in achieving this endeavor will be high, so to be cost efficient Adler said that fees for access and pole attachments should be “reasonable and non-discriminatory.” He also argued that a “dig once” rule be enacted to ensure that whenever roads are dug up, that conduit is put in place for 5G, according to TechRepublic.

Future technologies such as self-driving cars, ultra HD video streaming, the Internet of Things, and smart homes will benefit from next-generation 5G connectivity. Guaranteeing the future of 5G is primarily a federal responsibility, but Adler said that state and local governments will continue to play a “distinctive and important role” in the technology as we move toward 2020.

October 17, 2016

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