With the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting the need for reliable telecommunication services, a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Carol Murphy, Louis Greenwald and Wayne DeAngelo would make it easier for wireless companies to establish 5G networks throughout the state. The legislation passed the full Assembly Thursday, 63-9-2.
The measure (A-1116) would standardize regulations for the deployment of small wireless facilities, rather than leaving it up to each of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities to implement.
The legislation would grant wireless providers access to rights-of-way in order to install technology on existing infrastructure, such as utility poles, in order to ensure quality coverage via next-generation wireless services and broadband networks all around New Jersey.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic forced New Jersey residents to remain at home and conduct the majority of their activities remotely, the need for reliable and equitable wireless services was never more evident,” said Murphy (D-Burlington). “This bill will help usher our state into the 21st century by connecting residents better than ever before – including those in rural areas – and making it easier for the people living here to access the important services they require.”
5G coverage would not only improve cell phone service but also the download and upload speeds of a user’s internet service through its next-generation technology.
“The implementation of 5G service throughout New Jersey would help our state achieve a variety of important goals,” said Greenwald (D-Burlington, Camden). “This technology would help us meet the growing consumer demand for wireless data, increase the communications service options available to those living here and make it possible for our residents to reliably get in touch with both their neighbors and other key contacts, such as employers and government officials.”
“Throughout the pandemic, New Jerseyans had to do the majority of their professional and personal communication remotely,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “Primarily conducting various activities remotely was challenging for certain residents who had – and still have – limited access to telecommunication services. We must ensure equal access to quality wireless technology for as many residents as possible going forward.”
The legislation now heads to the Senate.