What Sioux Falls, SD Mayor, CTIA, Told Congress About 5G Deployment

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UPDATE Friday, Inside Towers reported on what Wireless Infrastructure Association President/CEO Jonathan Adelstein told members of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet Thursday about deploying 5G and implementing Sen. John Thune’s (R-SD) Mobile Now Act. Here are other notable quotes from Thursday’s hearing.

Turning on 5G

Sioux Falls, South Dakota Mayor Paul Tenhaken: Verizon flipped the switch in recent weeks and activated its small cells in our downtown core.

 On November 1, 2019, it was an honor to join Senator Thune and Verizon Executive Vice President Craig Silliman to announce the 5G launch with 10 active towers. In 2020, we anticipate several more Verizon small cells as well as the entry of AT&T and T-Mobile small cells into our market.

Small Cells Deal

Sioux Falls, South Dakota Mayor Paul Tenhaken: Verizon was the first carrier to contact Sioux Falls with interest in small cell contracts. The agreement we reached was to co-locate small cells on city light poles for 10 years with the option of a five-year extension…Fees included a $500 per pole application fee, $175 annual per pole rental fee, and up to $6,000 in one-time costs for outside consultant needs. Verizon is responsible for the installation and removal of equipment, and the city is responsible for pole repair and maintenance. 

Workforce Training

Sioux Falls, South Dakota Mayor Paul Tenhaken: The deployment of small cells is also a jobs creator in South Dakota. Recently, Sioux Falls’ local technical college (Southeast Technical Institute) and locally based VIKOR (a tower construction and maintenance company) partnered on a new training program. Together, VIKOR and Southeast Tech will prepare students for careers as tower technicians within the eight-week Wireless Infrastructure Technician program. Thousands of individuals will need to enter the workforce to help deploy small cells and 5G nationwide.  

Spectrum Sharing

CTIA SVP Regulatory Affairs Scott Bergmann: Congress has recognized the value of exclusive-use licensing by directing NTIA to give priority to allocations that involve exclusive, non-federal use, and that spectrum sharing should only be considered when spectrum cannot be made available on an exclusive-use basis. We were troubled by a provision in the Senate-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Section 214, which allows DOD, not the FCC or NTIA, to establish a sharing program on spectrum used by DOD and incumbent commercial systems. Commercial spectrum has never been—and should not be—governed by DOD. Any consideration of spectrum sharing policy decisions, technologies, or reports involving federal and non-federal spectrum should be led by the FCC and/or NTIA. 

Siting on Federal Land

CTIA SVP Regulatory Affairs Scott Bergmann: CTIA supports reasonable and enforceable timelines for handling siting applications and applauds Section 606’s inclusion of a 270-day shot clock to grant or deny an application to site wireless facilities on federal lands. We also commend the MOBILE NOW Act’s efforts to streamline and standardize the process by which broadband providers can obtain access to federal properties for siting wireless facilities. We encourage the committee to ensure federal agencies are taking the steps necessary to ease the burdens of deploying on federally managed lands and properties. 

Workforce Needs

CTIA SVP Regulatory Affairs Scott Bergmann: We applaud Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) for introducing the TOWER Act to increase broadband deployment and close the workforce shortage in the communications industry. The wireless industry is projected to invest heavily in deploying 5G and this legislation will help ensure we have the skilled workforce necessary. 

December 9, 2019

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