Why 5G Internet Is a Policy Minefield for Cities

This week, four U.S. cities are getting their first taste of the next generation of wireless internet. Verizon began rolling out its 5G residential service on Monday in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, bringing this superfast wireless broadband to customers for the first time. But it arrives just as local governments find their hands tied at governing how these networks—and all the equipment they require—will fit into their communities. This is no small move. The 5G buildout will require massive amounts of new gear, and the installation and approval process has already proven contentious in many places. The U.S. Conference of Mayors was quick to criticize the FCC’s move as a breach of local authority and suggest it will turn to the courts for resolution.

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