Cities are facing ‘an absolute land grab’ from telecoms in wake of 5G

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AUTHOR Chris Teale, PUBLISHED Oct. 9, 2019

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD — There is perhaps no technology as appealing yet daunting to city leaders as 5G, which continues to roll out across the United States in a process largely led by the four major telecom companies.

Anxiety around the deployment has only been heightened in the wake of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision handed down last year to accelerate approval times and cap fees that cities could charge for installing small cells, the infrastructure needed for 5G.

While some have turned to litigation to try and overturn the ruling — a bill pending in Congress would do the same — some experts suggest cities prepare a strong roll out plan for 5G.

“I think it is in the best interest of cities to realize where this is coming from and why this is happening and how to best implement it,” Praveen Gupta, founder and CEO of mobile consulting firm Mobilestack, said in a speech at the Smart Cities Connect conference in National Harbor, MD. “Some sort of a forward-looking approach, in my view, is needed rather than business as usual.”