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FCC Announced The Infrastructure Upgrades for 5G Network Buildout

The FCC in June seeks and clarifies comment on the Commission‘s rules governing state and local governments’ modifications to existing wireless infrastructure in a move to speed up equipment upgrades so that 5G network can be more quickly deployed nationwide.

So far, Congress enacted a section of the Spectrum Act of 2012 that simplifies state and local government review of certain requests to modify wireless transmission equipment on existing structures. 

Now, a state or the local government will approve within 60 days any request for modification of an existing structure that does not substantially change the physical dimensions of that structure, according to the change.

The FCC said that 5G networks are “critical” when it comes to expanding economic opportunities and supporting public health and safety in U.S. communities.

Under Chairman Pai, the FCC is pursuing a comprehensive strategy to Facilitate America’s Superiority in 5G Technology (the 5G FAST Plan). 

The Chairman’s strategy includes three key components: pushing more spectrum into the marketplace; updating infrastructure policy; and modernizing outdated regulations.


The FCC is taking action to make additional spectrum available for 5G services.

  • High-band: The FCC has made auctioning high-band spectrum a priority. 

The FCC concluded its first 5G spectrum auctions in the 28 GHz band; the 24 GHz band; and the upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands. 

With these auctions, the FCC is releasing almost 5 gigahertz of 5G spectrum into the market—more than all other flexible use bands combined.

  • Mid-band: mid-band spectrum has become a target for 5G buildout given its balanced coverage and capacity characteristics. 

With our work on the 2.5 GHz, 3.5 GHz, and 3.7-4.2 GHz bands, we will make more than 600 megahertz available for 5G deployments.

  • Low-band: The FCC is acting to improve the use of a low-band spectrum (useful for wider coverage) for 5G services, with targeted changes to the 600 MHz, 800 MHz, and 900 MHz bands.
  • Unlicensed: Recognizing that the unlicensed spectrum will be important for 5G, the agency is creating new opportunities for the next generation of Wi-Fi in the 6 GHz and above 95 GHz band.

Infrastructure Policy

The FCC is updating infrastructure policy and encouraging the private sector to invest in 5G networks.

  • Speeding Up Federal Review of Infrastructure: The FCC adopted new rules that will reduce federal regulatory impediments to deploying infrastructure needed for 5G and help to expand the reach of 5G for faster, more reliable wireless service.
  • Speeding Up State and Local Review of Small Cells: The FCC reformed rules designed decades ago to accommodate small cells. 

The reforms ban short-sighted municipal roadblocks that have the effect of prohibiting deployment of 5G and give states and localities a reasonable deadline to approve or disapprove small-cell siting applications.

Read More: 5G Technology: All You Need to Know

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