fccAccording to a new report from Accenture, an FCC proposed wireless infrastructure order, which includes emphasis on 5G small cell deployments, will save Americans $1.56 billion. The report says that the order will lead to more broadband for more Americans — including through an expedited roll-out of 5G — but the savings also could create more than 17,000 jobs, based on industry statistics.

The 5G Ready wireless infrastructure order would exempt small cells from certain federal historic and environmental reviews while streamlining those reviews for traditional macrocell sites. It comes after nearly a year of public outreach and consultation, in which the Federal Communications Commission heard from communities affected by insufficient mobile broadband coverage.

The Accenture report also found that:

  • Twenty-nine percent of current small cell deployment costs come from NEPA/NHPA review
  • Federal environmental and historic reviews cost nearly $10,000 per small cell

According to the FCC, the private sector is projected to invest $275 billion to upgrade America’s wireless service to  5G.  The order’s cost savings alone would allow wireless providers to create more than 17,000 jobs and build in excess of 57,000 small cells, based on data derived from the report.

“Today’s report makes clear that cutting red tape means more broadband for more Americans,” said FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, in a prepared statement.  “Eliminating unnecessary regulations will provide better broadband, connect underserved areas, and create jobs.  I look forward to ensuring America is ‘5G Ready’ and that we win the global race to 5G.”

The proposed order is supported by a wide range of stakeholders.  Recent additions include the Progressive Policy Institute, the League of United Latin American Citizens, LGBT Tech, and the National Taxpayers Union.