Dear Senator Thune and Senator Schatz,
On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we write in strong support of S. 3157, the Streamlining The Rapid Evolution And Modernization of Leading-edge Infrastructure Necessary to Enhance Small Cell Deployment (STREAMLINE) Act. Small cell technology will help close the digital divide and have far-reaching positive implications across the United States.
While not exhaustive, some important considerations for our support of this legislation include:
Meeting Increased Demand: Today, Americans rely on an increasingly congested wireless network.
Last year alone there were 400 million wireless subscriber connections, about 120% of the U.S. population, up 5.5 times from 2009. Today, the demand for wireless data is greater than ever before. A crucial component in meeting this demand, and supporting the predicted increase in new mobile technologies, is through the streamlined deployment of new wireless infrastructure—small cells—to support the next generation of wireless, known as 5G.
Economic Benefits and Job Creation: It is critical that the United States lead the world in deploying 5G, and siting reform is key issue that will determine whether we win this race. Today, the wireless industry supports nearly 5 million jobs and contributes approximately $475 billion annually to our economy. The deployment of 5G will increase that investment, adding $500 billion in GDP growth and creating 3 million new jobs.
Spurring Investment and Innovation: Investment and innovation in mobile and connected technology, without expense to the taxpayer, depends on regulatory certainty. This innovation is not limited to the telecommunications industry, but has vast positive ramifications for innovation in healthcare, transportation, agriculture, and education, among others. For example, innovations in connected devices and telehealth can lead to increased access to doctors, as well as reduced costs.
Increased Access and Affordability: Today, there are limitations to wireless connectivity across the country. Modernizing wireless siting deployment regulations will encourage investment, which is key to meeting the needs of more remote communities. Additionally, an increase in broadband access will lead to an increase in competition, furthering the promotion of more affordable services. Streamlining the deployment of small cells is a major step to promote adequate and affordable access to reliable wireless technology.
Passing S. 3157 is a great start to closing the digital divide. Reducing regulatory barriers is key to increased access and we encourage you to continue efforts to reduce barriers for all broadband providers.
We thank you for your leadership on this legislation and for your work to streamline siting rules for the deployment of modern wireless infrastructure. We encourage your colleagues to do the same and support S. 3157.
President and CEO
American Consumer Institute
Americans for Tax Reform
Harry C. Alford
National Black Chamber of Commerce
National Taxpayers Union
R Street Institute
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
National President & CEO
TechLatino: Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association
CC: Members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee