Verizon sought to stir public support for the roll out of 5G services across the US, launching a new campaign asking citizens to back next-generation deployments by writing to elected officials.
The website for the Let’s 5G initiative notes local governments “are making key decisions that will directly affect access to ultra-fast 5G wireless service for you and your neighbours,” adding “it’s critical they hear from you immediately”. A form letter on the site allows citizens who fill in their address to call for the “immediate roll out of 5G wireless service in our community”.
A Verizon representative told Mobile World Live the campaign currently targets local representatives, but can be expanded to include state and federal officials if need be. Though the response from authorities will vary, the representative said outcomes might include action to allocate additional funding, permits or “other things that will speed 5G deployment”.
The move comes as Verizon and other US operators aim to secure permission from municipalities across the country for 5G infrastructure deployments.
In September 2018, the US Federal Communications Commission approved new guidelines for local authorities, meant to accelerate small cell review processes and slash operator costs.
Verizon CFO Matt Ellis said on the operator’s Q3 2018 earnings call the new rules were “helpful,” but noted the process of issuing permits remains “a very local activity, municipality by municipality”.
The operator’s campaign aims to win public support by highlighting how the technology can benefit communities. It also offers reassurances 5G antennas are “designed to blend into the environment” and radio frequency exposure from the equipment will be comparable to “products such as baby monitors, Wi-Fi routers and Bluetooth devices”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter