Grassroots Leadership on 5G

Indiana is going to be one of the first states in the country to see 5G—the next-generation of wireless broadband. Indiana’s national leadership in mobile broadband is a direct result of this state’s policy decisions. A year ago, community leaders identified the opportunities that come with next-generation broadband and decided to address the challenges that threatened to stand in the way. A year after enacting Indiana’s small cell bill, the results are in—and they are remarkable. Since state leaders reformed the law, wireless providers have built over 1,000 small cells in more than 30
communities across the state. Based on your work, I am announcing today the next steps in the Federal Communications Commission’s efforts to bring more broadband to more Americans. Later in Sept, the FCC will vote on a proposal designed to support small cell deployment. It contains four main ideas:

  1. First, it reaffirms local control over wireless infrastructure decisions where it is most appropriate, while ensuring that commonsense guardrails apply to outlier conduct. It implements long-standing federal law that bars municipal rules that have the effect of prohibiting deployment of wireless service.
  2. Second, the proposal affirms that local governments may charge wireless providers for the costs associated with reviewing small cell deployment. We propose that fees must amount to a reasonable approximation of local governments’ costs. To encourage cooperation between local governments and wireless providers, the FCC in the order provides specific fee amounts, below which we presume the local governments’ fees are lawful.
  3. Third, we tailor the “shot clocks” that have long governed local review of infrastructure deployments to account for the size and scale of small cells. Requires municipalities to approve or disapprove applications to attach small cells to existing structures within 60 days and applications to build new small cell poles within 90 days.
  4. Fourth, we preserve local governments’ reasonable aesthetic reviews. 

These are commonsense ideas drawn from the hard work of leaders right here in Indiana’s General Assembly and in 19 other state legislatures. By taking your ideas nationwide, we help ensure that every community in our country is 5G Ready. And that will make a difference to American jobs and families. 


Grassroots Leadership on 5G Carr Announces Next 5G Order in Indiana Statehouse Speech (FCC) FCC Proposing More Big Boosts for Small Cells (Multichannel News) Proposed FCC Small Cell Rules Would Limit Fees Cities Can Charge as 5G Rollouts Set to Begin (telecompetitor)