With good reason, tech observers have become increasingly enthusiastic about the innovative opportunities that next-generation wireless connectivity, also known as 5G, will enable for schools, cars, virtual reality, robotics, medicine, the app economy, and more.  It’s exciting stuff, but we also have to recognize the important groundwork underway to get us there.  

The Commission has been forging ahead aggressively to ensure that the United States is the world’s 5G leader, placing particular emphasis on expanding access to spectrum, enabling backhaul connections, and promoting infrastructure deployment.

We took a critical step forward this week on the infrastructure front, when the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau released an agreement among the FCC, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO).  The agreement removes regulatory burdens for infrastructure deployments that would have little or no physical impact on their respective sites.  This change will make it much easier, quicker, and cheaper to deploy the facilities on which 5G is being built – like distributed antenna systems, small cells, and future technologies that haven’t yet left the drawing board.  

The agreement will deliver an immediate and meaningful impact on 5G because, as Chairman Wheeler has explained, high-speed 5G service requires high-speed infrastructure deployment.  But we’re not patting each other on the back and putting up our heels.  To the contrary, we are open for business and actively looking for additional ways to bring further efficiencies to 5G infrastructure deployment.  

And we want to hear from you.  If you’re a broadband consumer, or a tower company, or a Tribal Nation, or a student, or anyone else with ideas about shrinking 5G deployment burdens, please let us know by contacting Jeffrey Steinberg, Deputy Chief, Competition and Infrastructure Policy Division, at (202) 418-0896 or Jeffrey.Steinberg@fcc.gov.