Streamlined infrastructure rules can help wireless companies make a business case to deploy their systems, especially in rural communities, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said at the Competitive Carriers Association’s annual convention last week in Fort Worth.
“I understand how important infrastructure reform is going to be in terms of maintaining the United States’ leadership in wireless and ensuring that we see the ubiquitous deployment of advanced wireless networks,” Carr said in prepared remarks.
Chairman Pai has asked Carr to take the lead on the agency’s wireless infrastructure efforts. Next month, the FCC will vote on an order to eliminate the requirement for historic preservation review when utility poles are replaced with similar poles that can wireless equipment.
“As a practical matter, this order could go a long way in speeding the regulatory review process as providers seek to update and densify their networks for 5G,” Carr said.
Carr expressed confidence that the Order and others like it will positively impact the deployment of wireless in rural areas.
“[Streamlining] could make it economical for the private sector to deploy 5G to nearly 15 million more homes than under the existing and more burdensome regime,” he said. “The lion’s share of those would be in less densely populated areas.”
Carr was sworn in as the fifth commissioner on Aug. 11 after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate.