US FCC moves to speed up 5G build-outs

The US FCC has signed an agreement to eliminate historic preservation review for small-facility deployments.

The US Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Wireless Telecommunications Bureau today signed an agreement to eliminate historic preservation review for small-facility deployments across the U.S. that do not adversely impact historic sites and locations.

The move is a significant and long-awaited step to speed up the deployment of 5G  and will reduce time and cost barriers to 5G small cell and distributed antennae systems build-outs.

The agreement was signed with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO).

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said: “The interconnected world of the future will be the result of decisions we make today. That is why 5G is a national priority, and why today’s agreement to streamline small cell deployment will play a critical role in the successful deployment of next generation wireless service.”

The deployment of 5G networks will require increasing spectrum availability, ensuring backhaul connectivity, and facilitating infrastructure deployment.

Today’s action addresses infrastructure deployment, enabling more efficient installation of distributed antennae systems, also known as DAS, and small cells. DAS, small cells, and other small-scale technologies are critical components of the physical networks that will support the exponential growth of data-intensive 5G users in the next few years.

Jon Wilkins, Chief of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, said: “The agreement reflects the Commission’s vigilant commitment to enabling swift but responsible deployment of wireless infrastructure. The Bureau is open for business on infrastructure siting, and we welcome input on how to further improve the siting process.”

The new exclusions lay the groundwork for 5G service by reducing the cost, time, and burden associated with deployment, and by providing opportunities to make existing networks denser at low cost and with very little impact.

Today’s agreement, which amends an earlier agreement among the same parties, expands exclusions from the federal review process for DAS and small cell deployments, fulfilling a directive in the October 2014 Infrastructure Report & Order to further streamline review of these installations.


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