Trump Administration Voices Pro-Infrastructure Deployment

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The big takeaway from Friday’s 5G event at the White House is that federal agencies, members of Congress, private industry and their associations are all pulling in the same direction when it comes to infrastructure development. Wireless Infrastructure Association President Jonathan Adelstein spoke with Inside Towers following the event, saying there was an emphasis on the “indispensable role of infrastructure to enable 5G.”

He said there’s an “intense focus and coordination” on infrastructure deployment now, with leadership from the White House, in concert with federal agencies like the FCC, National Telecommunications and Information Administration and Congress. FCC’s Brendan Carr, for example, discussed the order the agency passed last week to ease small cell siting in a public right-of-way. Carr emphasized how quickly China is deploying cell sites compared to the U.S., according to the WIA executive.

Adelstein indicated many localities are working with industry on siting small cells because they want updated technology. The FCC’s recent order is meant to reign in unreasonable practices. “We need cooperative relationships with localities” to site 5G, emphasized Adelstein.

In all, the WIA executive summed up the meeting, by saying 5G deployment “definitely has the Administration’s attention, and it’s delivering solutions.” 

Around 150 people attended the event, by Adelstein’s estimate, with representatives from American Tower and Crown Castle among the audience members.

Afterwards, CTIA President/CEO Meredith Attwell Baker said in a statement: “We completely agree with the Administration, the FCC, the NTIA and congressional leaders that free market American leadership in 5G is vital for our economy, private investment and future innovation.  And it was especially noteworthy that today’s event focused so much on the need to free up more mid-band spectrum for commercial wireless use to help meet this goal and to keep up with skyrocketing consumer demand for mobile data.”

By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief

October 1, 2018