Broadband Communities

MAR-APR 2018

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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BROADBAND POLICY | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 8 5G Technology: Smart Decisions for Smart Cities 5G wireless technology promises many benefits for cities and their residents, but cities need clear, well-thought-out policies for deploying the new infrastructure. By Larry ompson / Vantage Point Solutions P ersonal wireless service (PWS) providers are beginning to call for 5G technology deployments in U.S. communities. Behind the scenes, city leaders must clear significant legal, technical, regulatory and engineering hurdles to allow 5G to be developed cohesively and in a manner that does not steamroller the city's values and those of its citizens. Here are some questions and considerations cities should work through as they determine their approaches to 5G and other new smart-city technologies. Broadband availability is increasingly important to economic vitality and quality of life. As new generations of wireless and wireline broadband technologies develop, city officials must balance many competing priorities: serving the best interests of their citizens, promoting digital inclusion, appropriately pricing fees for rights-of-way access, protecting existing infrastructure, upholding community values, making appropriate investments for their economic environments, and adopting adequate technology standards that balance future- proofing against the risk of leaving current business and community needs behind. All the while, vendors and researchers press the latest, greatest services, complete with network and infrastructure wish lists, which may or may not be in a city's best interests. In short, meeting the needs of cities, their residents and service providers can be difficult. Well-defined policies and procedures work in all parties' best interests and are critical to the balance. With thoughtful planning, cities can minimize the impacts to their staffs and resources while allowing faster deployment of advanced technologies to their citizens. However, even the most forward-thinking communities are likely to be challenged in their ability to navigate legal, technical and financial questions, such as the following: What state and federal laws are in play? What are the legal ramifications of the contemplated courses of action? What negative impacts will there be on the city's infrastructure and citizens? To what liability will the city be exposed, and how can that liability be minimized? How are other communities handling these questions, and are those models a good fit for my city? The Broadband Development Advisory Committee appointed by the FCC is in the process of developing model codes that detail municipal best practices for providing access to rights-of-way and municipal facilities. Once finalized, these model codes will provide a framework to help cities reach their network goals. However, even with a framework, these issues can be complex. It will be critical for cities to work with consultants, engineers and policy experts to navigate these codes for avenues to achieve their network goals and protect their priorities and interests.

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