The city of Bellevue, Washington, is preparing for 5G with the adoption of a new process to make small cell deployment easier.
The city, where T-Mobile US is headquartered, said that its reexamination of its city code and processes were a response to the new requirements from the Federal Communications Commission — but added that at the time of the FCC’s order, the city was “already in conversations with wireless providers regarding deployment of the technology in the area.”
The city said that it was attempting to “balance the need for universal, affordable access to reliable wireless service with concerns about aesthetics and the number of facilities – especially in neighborhoods.”
Last week, the city council adopted a small cell wireless facilities master license agreement template, which it said “will streamline the process to add next generation (5G) wireless infrastructure in Bellevue.” The move, it said, was made possible through city collaboration with the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, several wireless operators and infrastructure providers.
Terms of the framework include ten-year site licenses and a $270 per-pole fee each year for small cells — which is the maximum yearly rent allowed under the new rules passed by the FCC. However, the framework noted that if the FCC rules were to change, the costs would rise to $1,500 a year for each city pole.
Bellevue Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Josh Marti said in a statement that it is “critical that government and the business community work together to ensure future economic growth and prosperity.”
Mayor John Chelminiak said that the city sees the move as “as another crucial step towards becoming a smarter, high-tech city of the future. The adopted agreement lays the groundwork for delivering the next wave of wireless technology to our community.”
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