Without the ability to deploy the latest in wireless broadband infrastructure, we put at risk Georgia’s ability to effectively compete in a digital economy

When we began the year, 14 states had enacted wireless broadband small cell legislation. With the Governor’s signature of legislation in Missouri last week, we are now up to 20 states. Unfortunately, Georgia is not one of them.

Our state is currently a very difficult place to deploy small cells. While a handful of local jurisdictions have been receptive, many cities and counties have adopted burdensome processes and unreasonable fees that are delaying, and in some cases effectively prohibiting, the deployment of small cells. Because Georgia has 159 counties and 538 cities, the need for reasonable, statewide standards is evident.

Ongoing advancements in wireless broadband technologies are necessary to keep pace with consumer demand and are crucial to our state’s continued economic success. Without the ability to deploy the latest in wireless broadband infrastructure, we put at risk our ability to effectively compete in a digital economy.

In fact, the Lost Economy study estimates over the next 7 years wireless providers will invest $8.74 billion in our Georgia economy, helping drive $39.4 billion in consumer benefits statewide and generating $5.3 billion in employment earnings while adding 16,000 jobs in Georgia per year. Without a predictable environment for wireless providers to deploy next generation broadband infrastructure, this estimate cannot become a reality and these economic benefits cannot be realized.

To maintain our reputation as the number one state in the nation to do business, we must constantly work to ensure Georgia welcomes continued growth and strives for future success. Bringing the many benefits of wireless broadband technologies to Georgians will help our state remain at the forefront of the technology sector. Today, we risk falling behind our neighbors in North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee, as well as the 17 other states that have already passed wireless broadband small cell legislation.

Georgia policy-makers and elected leaders have worked hard over the years to create an environment that welcomes business investment. Let’s don’t stop now.

Sincerely,

Bill Leahy
President — AT&T Georgia

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Since January 2007, the amount of data used on AT&T’s network alone increased by more than 360,000%. As Georgians continue to increasingly rely on wireless devices as their primary way to stay connected, data usage will only continue to rise. To address this growth, wireless providers can use wireless broadband small cells to enhance consumer experiences by addressing capacity – or coverage issues – and prepare for future technologies like 5G and AirGig.

The size and flexibility of wireless broadband small cells help us target areas in a way that is low profile since they can be attached to existing utility poles, light poles or traffic signals.

To learn more about the issue, please visit Connect Georgia Today.

Small cells:
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Increase wireless internet speeds;

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Provide more network capacity and enhance coverage in hard to reach areas;

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Lay the foundation for the next evolution of wireless technologies, like 5G and smart cities, offering more cost-effective ways to deliver gigabit connections across Georgia; and,

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Improve customer experiences in places where large towers aren’t the best solution.

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