Virginia Governor Northam - Sign Legislation to Speed Deployment of Small Cell Technology | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Virginia Governor Northam - Sign Legislation to Speed Deployment of Small Cell Technology

State Action

March 23, 2018

Dear Governor Northam,

On behalf of the 46,035 members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) in Virginia, I urge you to sign legislation that has reached your desk to speed deployment of small cell technology in the Commonwealth.

The identical bills HB 1258 and SB 405 would reduce regulatory burdens placed on wireless providers seeking to expand wireless infrastructure, and move Virginia toward the technological promise of 5G.  Companies applying to build new wireless infrastructure, including small cell facilities, would experience a streamlined process for increased deployment of 5G, including in underserved areas of Virginia.

Two other bills that would promote the deployment of 5G in Virginia are the identical bills HB 1427 and SB 823, which would reduce the fees wireless providers must pay to use public rights of way.  Currently, they must pay a fee of $24,000 for each new structure in a VDOT right of way.  Because of the increased number of small cells necessary to support the 5G infrastructure, such a high cost could hinder further small cell deployment in Virginia.  Under these bills, wireless providers would pay a use fee of $1,000 for support structures at or below 50 feet in height; $3,000 for those between 50 and 120 feet; and $5,000 for structures more than 120 feet high.  The amount for the fees would be adjusted every five years to account for inflation. 

The development of 5G will support tele-medicine, smart city improvements, and distance learning, while also bringing new infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs to Virginia, including rural areas like the Eastern Shore and Southwest Virginia.  Wireless technology will be more available to more people, at no cost to taxpayers.  These bills will help all Virginians become more connected to each other and to every level of the economy, from the local level to international.

CCAGW strongly supports these pieces of legislation, which would enhance the deployment of 5G in Virginia communities, while making government more efficient and reducing costs for the businesses that provide jobs to Virginians.  I urge you to sign these bills to promote innovation in the Commonwealth.  Thank you for your consideration.



Thomas Schatz

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