The FCC is doing so by looking into how it can speed up the upgrades to existing wireless infrastructure through state and local rules, the release states, in order to provide the high-speed 5G networks which are "critical to expanding economic opportunities and supporting public health and safety in American communities."
In 2012, Congress passed 6409(a) of the Spectrum Act, which streamlines the rules for how wireless tech can be modified, allowing 60 days for the approval of any request to modify a structure to put the technology in, so long as the modifications don't substantially change the structure.
Now, under the FCC's rule change for 5G, the organization clarified when that 60-day window begins and stated exactly how much modification to a structure counts as substantial change, although the press release does not go into detail on what those clarifications are.
In addition, the FCC clarified that applicants don't need to submit reports on environmental impact if all parties in an agreement have decided to mitigate the effects on the properties, the release states. And the FCC is seeking comment on rule changes for excavations or deployment outside of an existing tower site, wanting to know the effects of those on the speed at which 5G can be installed.
The press release calls these changes a "crucial next step in the FCC’s ongoing efforts to remove regulatory barriers that inhibit the deployment of infrastructure critical to building 5G networks."
The pandemic has had the effect of slowing down the world's business, but 5G could come quicker now due to the amount of people working from home, according to Alex Gellman, CEO of Vertical Bridge, in a recent PYMNTS interview.
Gellman said the 5G technology would also be useful in implementing new pandemic-era requirements, such as temperature checks and surveying public health risks, due to increased data processing and speed.