March 21, 2017 —
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) today urged members of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to continue its work toward streamlining the widespread deployment of wireless broadband in communities throughout the United States.
The purpose of the hearing – titled “Broadband: Deploying America’s 21st Century Infrastructure” — was to discuss barriers at the federal level that hinder private investments in broadband infrastructure and to examine legislation intended to remove these barriers. The Subcommittee also discussed the challenges of collecting, aggregating, and making available accurate data relating to the availability of broadband service across the United States.
Thomas A. “Tam” Murray, who currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of WIA, said, in written testimony, “As a small business owner, every day I see the challenges posed by unreasonable deployment barriers at federal, state and local levels. These barriers include cumbersome siting procedures, inconsistent fees, complicated review processes and obstacles to deploying infrastructure on federal property.”
Murray stressed the need for Congress to work toward streamlining siting of wireless facilities on federal property, to improve the burdensome process of site review by Native American tribes, and to clarify how regulations affect the deployment of small cell technologies in wireless networks.
“5G will require an ongoing densification of mobile networks,” Murray said. “From macro towers to small wireless facilities, such as small cells, all forms of infrastructure will be needed to bring about the promise of next generation wireless and to meet consumers’ demand for mobile data. When deployed rationally, these types of infrastructure serve to complement each other and improve the network as a whole.”
“What began as an effort to provide the convenience and luxury of mobile voice communications has become an essential part of daily life,” Murray said. “And it shows this industry’s impact on the economy. A recent Accenture study found that 5G deployment could spur as much as $275 billion in private investment and create three million jobs over the next seven years.”
“The burgeoning demand for mobile data underscores the need for government policies that support meeting it by efficiently and responsibly deploying wireless infrastructure,” Murray said.
Murray closed his testimony with this: “To reap the tremendous benefits of next generation broadband, we all must work together to encourage and incentivize responsible and efficient wireless infrastructure deployment. Your draft bill is a significant and positive step in that direction, and there is much more work to be done.”