The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sought to make it easier for companies to test next-generation technologies, creating two new urban innovation zones in New York City and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Its move is designed to cut regulatory red tape and make it easier for companies to test new technologies outside of a traditional campus or laboratory setting.

Trialling new technologies like 5G would usually require companies to seek individual licences from the FCC for each experiment. However, those approved to test in the Innovation Zones will be allowed to conduct multiple, unrelated pilots under a single authorisation.

In a statement FCC chairman Ajit Pai said the areas would provide innovators with broader access to resources while also protecting licensed users in those areas.

The New York City zone encompasses just under a tenth of a square mile in Manhattan and allows fixed and mobile testing across a variety of bands including 2.5GHz, 3.7GHz to 4.2GHz (C-Band), 5.9GHz, 28GHz, and 38.6GHz to 40GHz.

In Utah, operators will have access to a total of four square miles of test space, comprised of three connected areas including a college campus, downtown area and corridor connecting the two. Fixed and mobile testing there will be permitted across low and mid-band spectrum ranging from 700MHz to 7.1GHz

Both zones will be active for a period of five years, though the FCC could extend the terms.