FCC’s $2 billion giveaway to carriers won’t speed up Verizon’s 5G deployment

A Verizon logo at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Enlarge / A Verizon logo at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

Verizon Wireless says it will not move faster on building its 5G cellular network despite a Federal Communications Commission decision that erased $2 billion dollars' worth of fees for the purpose of spurring faster 5G deployment.

The FCC's controversial decision last month angered both large and small municipalities because it limits the amount they can charge carriers for deployment of wireless equipment such as small cells on public rights-of-way. The FCC decision also limits the kinds of aesthetic requirements cities and towns can impose on carrier deployments and forces cities and towns to act on carrier applications within 60 or 90 days.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai justified the decision by saying it would speed up 5G deployment, and he slammed local governments for "extracting as much money as possible in fees from the private sector and forcing companies to navigate a maze of regulatory hurdles in order to deploy wireless infrastructure."

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