US 5G boosted by "massive victory"
Ajit Pai, the chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has declared a “massive victory” as the US Court of Appeals upheld three proposed orders from the FCC to fast-track 5G in the United States.
The upheld orders are the Small Cell Order, the Moratoria Order, and the One Touch Make-Ready Order.
All form part of the FCC's Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure order, and effectively prevent municipalities from dictating how telcos install small cell 5G antennas. The orders also prevent excessive fees and delays to 5G network deployment.
“Today’s decision is a massive victory for US leadership in 5G, our nation’s economy, and American consumers,” Pai said in a statement.
“The court rightly affirmed the FCC’s efforts to ensure that infrastructure deployment critical to 5G—a key part of our 5G FAST Plan—is not impeded by exorbitant fees imposed by state and local governments, undue delays in local permitting, and unreasonable barriers to pole access.”
The successful appeal followed objections to the FCC’s 2018 agreement to eliminate the historic preservation review for small-facility deployments that do not adversely impact historic sites and locations.
As Capacity reported at the time, that order will now cut US$2 billion from the cost of approvals and the FCC is expecting it to stimulate $2.4 billion of additional small cell construction.
Pai’s statement continued: “The wind is at our backs: With the FCC’s infrastructure policies now ratified by the court, along with pathbreaking spectrum auctions concluded, ongoing, and to come, America is well-positioned to extend its global lead in 5G and American consumers will benefit from the next generation of wireless technologies and services.
“I want to thank FCC staff for their outstanding work in crafting this order and defending this action against short-sighted efforts by those seeking to obstruct 5G deployment. I also thank Commissioner Carr for his leadership on wireless infrastructure issues.”
Hot on the heels of the announcement, Bluebird Network confirmed a new project that will support new tower deployments by wireless carriers.
The company is initiating one of the single largest fibre build-outs and densification projects in Columbia's history, by strengthening its fibre backbone in Columbia, MO.
Bluebird president and CEO Michael Morey said: “Our wireless customers—the largest cell service providers in the nation—trusted us for their large-scale 5G wireless deployment. They chose us because when Bluebird makes a promise, we deliver. We not only meet expectations, we exceed them. Our customer care and employee work ethic has resulted in Bluebird’s successful growth, and builds like this demonstrate we don’t plan to stop our trajectory any time soon,” he added.