5G is a big deal for the continued adoption of the IOT globally. A 5G-enabled Internet of Things promises to connect people, data, and devices, creating a wave of economic growth which IHS Markit estimates will yield $719 billion in growth and 3.4 million new jobs in the U.S. by 2035. Globally, 5G economic growth could reach $3.5 trillion and 22 million jobs.

Recently we updated our initial story about a nationwide 5G network. The Wall Street Journal’s recent article exposed a potential barrier for a 5G rollout – local and state laws.

The WSJ.com article stated,

In some places, outdated local requirements prohibit carriers from placing small cells in local rights-of-way and on government-owned utility poles. Zoning ordinances designed for much larger towers often require local zoning boards to approve small cells. Some localities refuse altogether to negotiate right-of-way access, while others impose prohibitive fees and other unreasonable conditions.

It is estimated that more than a dozen states have approved laws to streamline regulations for small-cell installations required for 5G networking.  These states have taken steps to (1) cap municipal fees at reasonable levels, (2) limiting review time, and (3) allowing small cells in most public rights-of-way.

Hopefully, the promise of a nationwide 5G network and the tremendous economic growth it carriers don’t get blocked by outdated regulations. Time will tell but this is a story we’ll continue to keep an eye on throughout 2018.

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