NY Governor Prioritizes '100% Cell Service'

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made bringing good cellular service to 100% of his constituents a priority in his annual State of the State address in Albany on Wednesday, including legislation to simplify the process of getting permits for next-generation (5G) small cells to be deployed on municipal infrastructure across the state.

New York State has invested $500 million in better high-speed broadband Internet access for the state since 2015. The state says that good cellular service is particularly vital upstate, as poor network coverage can undermine economic growth and impact public safety.

"We are already bringing the Internet to every corner of this state. Now we must bring 100% cell service to every corner of our great state," Cuomo said in the speech Wednesday.

To do this, the governor proposed naming a state cellular coverage director who will be tasked with bringing cell service to the estimated 1,950 miles of major roadways lacking it in New York, as well as delivering better connections to sparsely covered tourism sites upstate.

Cuomo also wants to "standardize permitting for the installation of small cell technology on municipal infrastructure." Getting some speed and clarity to the small cell permitting process could help to speed up the process of 5G deployment. Former Sprint CEO Marcello Claure commented in 2017 that it takes a year to get a permit to build out a small cell.

Only this week, major carriers were complaining about utilities levying large surcharges on operators that want to place small cells on light poles.

No word yet, of course, on how long it might take to standardize the permit process for small cells installed on municipal buildings in New York State.

See the full State of the State 2020 speech below:

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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