Gov. McAuliffe Signs Wireless Broadband Deployment Bill

Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe has signed a bill to advance the deployment of the small-cell infrastructure needed for next gen 5G wireless broadband. 

According to a summary of the bill (SB 1282) it: "Provides a uniform procedure for the way in which small cell facilities on existing structures are approved by localities and approved and installed in public rights-of-way. The measure includes provisions that establish requirements applicable to the location of micro-wireless facilities. The measure also addresses restrictions by localities and the Department of Transportation regarding the use of public rights-of-way or easements and specifies when a permittee may be required to relocate wireless support structures." 

“I am proud to sign this new law placing Virginia at the forefront of all the economic benefits that will flow from even faster 5G Internet connections,” said McAuliffe in a statement. “I have made it a top priority to spur investment and job opportunities across the Commonwealth, and this law will help deliver that goal whether through improved education opportunities, better healthcare delivery, or autonomous transportation systems.” 

The FCC has made speeding deployment of mobile and fixed broadband a priority.

Related: FCC Slates Broadband Deployment Webinar

CTIA, which represents wireless broadband providers, says the bill will spur hundreds of millions in investment and create thousands of new jobs in the state. 

“CTIA and the wireless industry commend Governor Terry McAuliffe and the Virginia General Assembly in supporting 5G wireless legislation that will boost business opportunity and enhance consumers’ lives,” said CTIA president Meredith Attwell Baker. 

According to CTIA, Accenture estimates the bill will translate to $371 million in Virginia Beach, the largest city in the state, and $179 million investment in the state capital, Richmond.

(Photo via Kate Wellington's FlickrImage taken on June 7, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 9x16 aspect ratio.)

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.