5G

Trump's FCC bets big on 5G: Here's how it will change the US economy forever

The FCC hopes to speed development of 5G initiatives in a move that Chairman Ajit Pai said could lead to new jobs and $500B of economic growth.

On Friday, leaders in the Trump administration said they would work to streamline the deployment process for 5G technologies, which could benefit the economy and job market, according to a Reuters report.

Increased speed and bandwidth will come alongside lower latency as part of 5G. This could make cloud computing more reliable, and open up new opportunities in remote work, while also paving the way for the growth and development of artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous vehicles.

"The lag time between a device's request for data and the network's response will be less than one-tenth of what it is today," Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai said at a White House summit on Friday. "Wireless networks that today support 1,000 connected devices per square kilometer could instead support 1 million."

SEE: Wireless networking policy (Tech Pro Research)

According to the Reuters report, the administration sees 5G as a critical investment in the country's future stance as a leader in next-generation technologies. Administration officials said 5G could help create 3 million new jobs, while also generating $275 billion in private investment and $500 billion in economic growth, the report noted.

"US leadership in 5G technology is a national imperative for economic growth and competitiveness," Pai said at the summit.

While the first 5G standards were approved back in June, a few roadblocks remain to a full 5G rollout. Government officials and regulators are still working to free up the wireless spectrum and fiber optic deployments needed for a successful deployment, the report said.

According to the report, the FCC voted on Wednesday to eliminate certain barriers to 5G. Essentially, Pai noted, local governments will have to review 5G deployment applications faster, and create a limit to what they can charge for installation fees. Pai said 800,000 cell sites will be needed for a full 5G deployment, according to the report.

However, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel noted that the "escalating trade war with China" will lead to a higher duty on much of the essential hardware needed for 5G.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • The Trump administration is working to streamline the process for 5G deployments in an effort to boost the economy and position the US as a world leader in wireless connectivity.
  • FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said 5G could help create 3 million new jobs, while also generating $275 billion in private investment and $500 billion in economic growth.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/Tanaonte

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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