5G internet has been the dream of many for years now. The ability to offer fiber internet speeds without the need to run fiber to every home. Soon you will be able to buy a modem that will wirelessly connect to a 5G signal and allow you to access the internet fiber speeds without the need of fiber being run to your house. Many companies including Verizon, AT&T, Google, Charter, Dish, are all in the process of testing 5G internet as an option for home internet.
Verizon is so excited about the future of 5G internet they are spending a billion dollars to run additional fiber lines to cell phone towers to handle the new load from 5G home internet. AT&T is already testing 5G internet in several markets including Austin TX as part of a closed beta test.
Now the United States Senate wants to speed up the rollout of 5G internet. Recently a bipartisan bill was introduced by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) of the appropriately named Streamlining Permitting to Enable Efficient Deployment of Broadband Infrastructure Act of 2017 (SPEED Act), S. 1988 with the goal of speeding up the rollout of 5G.
So how will it work? Well according to the sponsors it will:
“Exempt telecommunications infrastructure from environmental and historic reviews by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other federal agencies in a public ROW if previously installed telecommunications infrastructure has already undergone environmental and historic reviews for the same public ROW. Any provider exempted from these reviews must still comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act;”
So, in short, the bill will let providers like Verizon and AT&T upgrade their existing cell phone towers to 5G without the need for a new environmental study as long as they meet a long list of requirements like the tower is not raised and it is just replacing an existing cellphone cell.
“New advances in telehealth, online education, precision agriculture, and other internet applications demand faster, better broadband connections,” said Wicker. “It is time for the federal government to recognize the realities of a modern digital economy and accommodate the needs of American consumers.”
“We applaud Senators Wicker and Cortez Masto for their bipartisan leadership in introducing the SPEED Act,” said Kelly Cole, SVP for CTIA, the wireless trade association. “This legislation will streamline the federal regulatory review process for wireless infrastructure and pave the way for significant investment in next-generation 5G wireless.”
5G is the answer to many of America’s internet needs. From bringing new competition to the internet market with no competition to offering fast internet speeds to millions of Americans who struggle to find broadband internet. Now it looks like that rollout may come sooner than ever.
Not only is the Senate trying to speed up the rollout of 5G but so is the FCC. Recently the FCC has started to push rules that would speed up the rollout of 5G.
There is still no date on when 5G will go live but many providers say they plan to have 5G internet available to over 50% of Americans sometime in 2020.
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