The FCC really, really wants to get the ball rolling on 5G mobile networks, and it’s willing to make an end run around some of the usual bureaucracy to make that happen. The Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has struck a deal that will skip historic preservation reviews for small 5G cell sites across the US. So long as the sites aren’t going to “adversely impact” historic locations, they’ll get up and running that much faster. The FCC will also “welcome input” on how to improve things further.
This doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be using a 5G smartphone any time soon. The telecom industry has yet to even settle on a 5G standard, let alone build the equipment you’ll need to get online. The FCC also isn’t giving carte blanche to carriers, as it still wants “responsible” deployments. However, this raises hopes that the next wave of high-speed cellular data won’t take quite so long to arrive as LTE did — you could see meaningful coverage relatively quickly.