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House Proposal Would Endorse Priority Funding for Statewide Small Cell Regulations

A North Carolina congressman is calling for states with streamlined small cell regulations to receive priority in federal broadband funding allocations.

The resolution introduced Thursday by Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., would, if passed, reflect the House's position that "any infrastructure legislation that provides federal funds to wireless broadband providers to promote wireless broadband deployment should prioritize funds for wireless broadband providers in states that have enacted streamlined siting requirements for small cells."

A dense network of smaller antennas will be needed to deploy next-generation 5G wireless networks in coming years, and lawmakers in many states hope to facilitate installation of those sites by easing permitting and zoning requirements.

But those efforts have drawn criticism over their erosion of local government authority, as well as the antennas' potential impact on neighborhood aestheticsand resident health.

North Carolina's small cell siting bill was signed into law in July.

"CTIA applauds Representative Hudson’s 5G small cell resolution which provides a vital blueprint for accelerating investment and creating new jobs in U.S. broadband infrastructure," Kelly Cole, the wireless group's SVP for government affairs, said in a statement.

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