Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | Verizon won’t speed up 5G buildout despite FCC preempting local fees

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica |

Same old story —

Verizon also lowering capital investment in 2018 despite net neutrality repeal.

Hexbyte - Tech News - Ars Technica | A Verizon logo at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
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A Verizon logo at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Verizon Wireless says it will not move faster on building its 5G cellular network despite a Federal Communications Commission decision that erased $2 billion dollars’ worth of fees for the purpose of spurring faster 5G deployment.

The FCC’s controversial decision last month angered both large and small municipalities because it limits the amount they can charge carriers for deployment of wireless equipment such as small cells on public rights-of-way. The FCC decision also limits the kinds of aesthetic requirements cities and towns can impose on carrier deployments and forces cities and towns to act on carrier applications within 60 or 90 days.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai justified the decision by saying it would speed up 5G deployment, and he slammed local governments for “extracting as much money as possible in fees from the private sector and forcing companies to navigate a maze of regulatory hurdles in order to deploy wireless infrastructure.”

But in an earnings call last week, Verizon CFO Matt Ellis told investors that the FCC decision won’t have any effect on the speed of its 5G deployment. Verizon also said that it is reducing overall capital expenditures—despite a variety of FCC decisions, including the net neutrality repeal, that the FCC claimed would increase broadband network investment. (Verizon posted a transcript of the earnings call here.)

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | Verizon already building as fast as it can

An analyst asked Ellis if the FCC order would “change the sort of internal targets you have for the rollout of the small cell and 5G infrastructure and possibly allow you to go a little faster as you look out to 2019 and 2020.”

Ellis responded that the FCC decision “doesn’t necessarily increase the velocity that we see.” Verizon is “going as fast as we can” already, he said.

Ellis said:

Our teams have been engaged with municipalities across the country on getting permits to put up small cells, whether for 4G or 5G. [We] certainly like the fact that they are providing a little more guidance for how quickly that should happen, but I don’t see it having a material impact to our buildout plans. We are going as fast as we can. And while the federal-level rules are helpful, it is still a very local activity municipality by municipality. So a lot of good work going on there.

Ellis also said that Verizon’s “capital expenditures for the full year [will] be between $16.6 billion and $17.0 billion.” That’s down from $17.2 billion in 2017 and potentially below the low end of Verizon’s initial 2018 projection. In January, Verizon projected that its 2018 capital spending would be “in the range of $17.0 billion to $17.8 billion, including the commercial launch of 5G.”

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | No guarantee of more broadband

Before last month’s 5G preemption vote, Pai claimed that “big-city taxes on 5G” slow down deployment in big cities and “jeopardize the construction of 5G networks in s

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