State Urges Use of Small Cells to Boost Rural Internet Coverage


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To close the economic gap between rural and urban areas, members of Georgia’s House Rural Development Council are turning to small cell installations. High-speed internet is one of the key differences affecting the economic division, and the wireless small cell option is expected to provide the solution.

The Rome News-Tribune reports the council will hold 10 meetings around the state this year to ascertain the best solution. The most recent was a meeting with AT&T representatives, who pushed for a statewide permitting process for small cells.

“Broadband is so important; local governments are trying to ensure it’s available,” stated Council member Rep. Eddie Lumsden, R-Armu­chee. “The private sector is willing to make it accessible if it can, and wireless technology advances are being made daily in how that could work.” 

A recent broadband survey published by the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, discovered 80.6 percent of rural respondents said broadband access is very or somewhat important to earn an income.

To quickly allow small deployment, AT&T suggested Georgia follow the example of 35 other states, and remove right-of-way fees. Lumsden said the group is considering a number of actions, and wants to present a long-term solution, rather than a short fix when it presents legislation in 2018.

June 6, 2017       

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