July 14, 2016 — To maximize the opportunities promised by new 5G-type technology, more backhaul will be needed to moves the data back to the wireline network, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Communications and Technology during the FCC oversight hearing on Tuesday.
“To seize the opportunities to increase the deployment of mobile networks and to move towards 5G connectivity, we’re going to need a lot more backhaul to handle the massive increase in data traffic,” Wheeler said in his written statement.
In April, the FCC launched its Business Data Services proceeding to address the increasing need for dedicated access that carriers need to backhaul cell towers and small cells to their networks, as well as by enterprises, schools, hospitals and universities to move large amounts of data.
“In many areas, however, competition in the supply of Business Data Services remains limited, and that can translate into higher prices for wireless networks and then higher prices for consumers,” Wheeler wrote. “Lack of competition doesn’t just hurt the deployment of wireless networks today, it also threatens to delay the build out of 5G networks with its demand for many, many more backhaul connections to many, many more antennas.”
The Business Data Services proposal is technology neutral and will encourage innovation and investment, Wheeler said. He plans to conclude the proceeding by the end of the year.