The 5G Deployment Challenge - Part 3 in a Series

IEEE Future Networks Podcasts with the ExpertsFNPodcast INGR 5GDeployment Part3 ieeetv
An IEEE Future Directions Digital Studios Production


The 5G Deployment Challenge - Part 3 in a Series: A Panel Discussion on Public Pushback, Policy, and Public vs. Private


Despite 5G’s potential and favorable economics, deployment of the technology is proving challenging for a variety of reasons. 5G, the fifth generation of wireless technology, promises improved performance of mobile broadband for consumer devices such as smartphones and other user devices, but also adding support for fixed broadband to homes and businesses, massive machine-type communications for the Internet of Things, ultra-reliable low latency communications for virtual and augmented reality, and a host of other applications still in development. Analysts estimate that 5G will bring $275 billion in private investment to infrastructure in the U.S., and vastly more on a global scale, and that it will contribute a significant return to national and global GDP.


Subject Matter Experts

Moderator: Brian Walker


DavidWitkowskiDavid Witkowski 
IEEE Senior Member
Co-chair, Deployment Working Group, International Network Generations Roadmap (INGR)
Founder & CEO, Oku Solutions LLC
Executive Director, Wireless Communications Initiative at Joint Venture Silicon Valley


Steve Young ProfileDavid Young
Co-chair, Deployment Working Group, International Network Generations Roadmap (INGR)
CIO, City of Lincoln and Lancaster County, NE




Brendan Carr ProfileBrendan Carr
Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)





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Podcast Transcript 


Brian Walker:  Welcome to the IEEE Future Networks podcast series, Podcast with the Experts, an IEEE Future Directions Digital Studio Production.  Despite 5Gs potential and favorable economics, deployment of the technology is proving challenging for a variety of reasons.  In this episode, David Witkowski, Co-Chair, Deployment Working Group INGR, leads a discussion with David Young, CIO for the City of Lincoln in Lancaster County, Nebraska and Brendan Carr, Commissioner of the FCC.  They share their insights on 5G deployment challenges and offer possible solutions in building out the next generation wireless infrastructure.

David Witkowski:  Thanks for joining us today. Our podcast is going to deal with the topic of government and the intersection with technology and the intersection with wireless deployments.  I’m extremely excited to be joined today by two people who are leaders in that area, David Young, who is the Chief Information Officer for the City of Lincoln, Nebraska, the Vice Chair of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee at the Federal Communications Commission, and my Co-Chair at the Deployment Working Group with IEEE Future Networks.  We’re also joined by Commissioner Brendan Carr from the Federal Communications Commission.  Welcome to both of you. 

David Young:   Thanks.

Commissioner Brendan Carr:  Thank you, David.

David Witkowski:  The deployment of wireless technology in our modern world is a very interesting scenario, because we’re talking about the deployment of private networks that are funded by the wireless industry, but increasingly those sites are deployed on public property, in the public rights of way, and so this creates an interesting dynamic.  The current wireless generation, 4G, accounts for almost 5 percent of our national GDP.  5G, the next generation of technology, will involve investment of up to $275 billion by some estimates in a network that will serve the residents of the United States.  But, again, that technology is going to be deployed on largely public infrastructure.  So, this creates an interesting dynamic, because what we have then is the private industry and local governments or agencies that have to then interact.  So, in a sense, I think this is pretty unique.  When we think about the level of investment that will be made in 5G, I think the numbers are really compelling.  Two hundred and seventy-five billion dollars, per the Accenture 5G report, in 2020 dollars is more than the United States government spent on the Apollo Space Program, and it approaches the level that the United States government spent on the interstate highway system.  It represents the single largest private investment in public-serving infrastructure that we’ve ever seen.  Commissioner Carr, do you agree with those statements?

Commissioner Brendan Carr:  Well, thank you so much for the opportunity to join you on the podcast.  I think securing U.S. leadership in 5G and accelerating the build out of high-speed, high-capacity networks is a national imperative.  And so when we look across the country as to how do we create a regulatory playing field that’s going to incentivize builds not just in New York, not just in San Francisco, but in Lincoln, Nebraska, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and where I was a week or so ago in Defiance County, Ohio, in looking at a great challenge there is driving down the cost of building out this Internet infrastructure and speeding up the permitting process.  So, we’ve engaged at the federal level and really learned from lessons of our state and local counterparts about some rules of the road that are going to make sense for incentivizing investments.  We’ve built out a lot of those state and local laws and put those in place at the federal level.  And since we’ve done that, we’ve seen a pretty dramatic acceleration in terms of the build out of Internet infrastructure.  We’re really pleased with the results that we’re seeing, but I think you’re right.  At the end of the day, there’s always going to be some tension between federal rules and incentivized investment and maintaining state and local control.  I’ll be the first to say that not every state and local official agrees with the balance we’ve struck at the FCC, but if you look at aesthetics in particular, we’ve really tried to make sure that control over aesthetics is something that stays with state or local officials.  At the end of the day if an ugly small cell goes up, it’s the local official that’s going to get pulled aside at the grocery store, the post office and hear about it.  We’ve got to make sure that they have an appropriate level of say and control over those issues. 

David Witkowski:  Thank you.  I appreciate those comments.  David Young, what are your thoughts?

David Young:  You know, I agree, David.  Thank you, again, for having me.  I think I agree with a lot of what is being said.  Yes, this is an expensive investment.  Yes, it is important.  I think where the challenge for many municipalities lies is making sure that this important national imperative infrastructure is available to everybody, not just the wealthy, right?  When we’re deploying in Lincoln, Nebraska or New York and we’re having conversations about aesthetics, there’s a large percentage of the State of Nebraska, there’s a large percentage of the State of New York that still doesn’t have 4G coverage.  I think that the challenge that we’re looking at is making sure that everybody has coverage.  And how do we balance that?  Yes, speed is important.  Yes, good rules of the road are important, but full coverage is also important.  And I think that that’s one of the challenges that we think that there’s an area of interest both at the state and local level and with the FCC, to make sure that everybody is covered.  It’s a huge investment, I’ll agree.  I think it is important that we do it and we do it right.  And so more collaborative planning around where the infrastructure is going to go, what the schedule for building out the infrastructure in every state, and collaboration on making sure that not only do we have mobile Internet, but fixed Internet.  One of the challenges we have seen with COVID-19 with the “Learn from Home” program and “Work from Home” programs is fixed networks in many areas are not keeping up with demand and having conversations around upping the broadband definition.  You know, 25/3 is an old definition.  Now, I think we need to be looking at asynchronous definitions, so we can have video conferences like this and podcasts, so people can work from home.  I think we need to have a conversation around that as well.  There’s a lot of hype around 5G.  We are excited to see it in our cities and our states, but the challenge is in many areas we still have DSL at the house.  And so how do we have that conversation?  How do we decouple the hype of 5G and really invest in a discussion around coverage for everybody on mobile and quality fixed Internet that in the new reality we live in is available for people to learn and work from home?

David Witkowski:  Thank you.  I appreciate that.  I think your comment about broadband to the home is really interesting, because there are a few things about 5G that I think are probably not well understood.  Previous generations of cellular have focused primarily on improving the user hands experience.  It’s really been about the phone, whether that was adding text messaging or mobile web and mobile email in the 3G world.  Then we have the smartphone era with the apps and the rich information that we obtain through a 4G phone.  Looking at 5G, it’s really not about the phone.  It’s-- to a large extent, it’s more about the things that 4G can’t do and the economics of deployment.  You know, during the recent FCC forum on OpenRAN, a comment was made that really resonated with me, which was this is really more about economics of deployment.  It’s really more about dollars per bits per area or per user than it is about making your smartphones faster.  And sure, we’d all love to have our phones be faster.  But the thing that’s really critical is reducing the amount of spend that the industry has to make to cover more people.  In other words, if you reduce the amount of spend, you then have more available funds to invest in these areas that are currently underserved or unserved.  I do think that 5G creates the economics that are necessary for better deployments.  But to your point, David Young, I think we do need to make sure that we are thinking about those unserved areas, because there are a lot of-- even Silicon Valley where I live is-- I mean, you go 20 miles away from the core of Silicon Valley, you’re in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and there’s often not a lot of broadband in those areas.  I also think that the application of 5G as a fixed broadband technology is very exciting, the idea that you could use 5G to deploy where you would have wanted previously to deploy fiber, and can you proximate a fiber performance?  We had fiber installed in our home, and it took the installer four and a half hours to put it in.  That’s just not a sustainable level of OPEX for most companies.  So being able to hand somebody a home install kit that would get them 5G fixed and it would only take maybe a half an hour to put that in is-- there’s just a lot of economic value in doing that, because then those resources can be spread over a wider population.

Commissioner Brendan Carr:  No.  I think the point that-- when you talk about the relationship between the-- when we talk about the relationship between the smartphone and the network, I think you really nailed it there, which is to say the 3G and 4G networks were sort of custom built to support smartphones.  And 4G was all about the app economy, the introduction of the iPhone and supporting that device.  And when you look at the 5G networks, attaching your smartphone to that network is really going to be the least interesting thing that you’re going to attach to a 5G network, and that’s a massive shift.  And so, when I think about 5G from the consumer perspective, I really sort of put it in three buckets.  The first bucket is the smartphone bucket, right?  Everything that you do on your smartphone today is going to be faster, and that’s going to be great.  But, again, that’s the least interesting.  The second piece of it is what you touched on as well, which is high-speed home Internet.  Up to now, your only choice for super high-speed in-home service was a fixed or wired connection.  And we’ve made a lot of progress in the country with building out that infrastructure.  But now with 5G, you can finally deliver wirelessly that same experience that before you had to have a cable or a fiber connection.  So that’s going to be very disruptive to the in-home broadband market in terms of increasing competition, closing the digital divide, driving down prices.  One of the things I saw out in Defiance County, Ohio just a week or two ago was a home that’s getting fixed 5G service.  They’re getting better speeds and better prices compared to the fixed service they had before.  And the third bucket that I describe to people really is this new wave of innovations that we can really only scratch at the surface of right now.  And to describe that dynamic, I really tell people to think back ten years on their own life, before we had 4G and the app economy that rode on it and how you got across town back then, right?  You had to call a number, or hail a taxi cab, pay exorbitant rates and so many rides people just didn’t go on because of the friction in that process.  And now we have Uber and Lyft right on our smartphone and we can call a car right to wherever we are.  That was enabled by this 4G app economy.  We’re going to see some of that same stuff happen with 5G where we can’t even see it.  There are pain points in your daily life today that you may not even recognize as pain points, but this 5G network is going to support a solution to it.  And I think some of the answer to that is going to be artificial reality and virtual reality.  I think those innovations demand the high-speed, high-performance of a 5G network.  One idea that I’ve thrown out to try to give people a sense is grocery shopping, right?  I dislike going grocery shopping.  It takes time, and in this COVID era, obviously it requires interacting with people.  And there are some online options today for ordering and having stuff delivered, but it doesn’t replicate that experience.  For me, I like to be in my grocery store, walk the aisles, see the actual product.  And now with an AR or VR headset, pretty soon you’ll be able to sit on your couch, put on an AR/VR headset powered by 5G and you’ll be transported to your local grocery store that you can see the aisles that you’re used to seeing, walk it the way you want to walk it.  You’ll be able to pick up a piece of fruit, feel it and see if you want it, throw it in your virtual basket, and it can be delivered.  I think you’re exactly right, that these networks have up to now been custom built for smartphones and apps, and that’s the least interesting part of 5G.  It’s going to be this new wave of innovations that solve pain points in our lives.  And that’s why we’ve got to make sure every single community has a fair shot at this, not just the biggest cities.  And we’re making good progress there, but there’s more to go.  We’re not waiving the mission accomplished flag at this point.  I was pleased, and I’ll close this part with this, that when we approved the transaction of Sprint and T-Mobile merging, one of the conditions there that they committed to was building out 5G to 99 percent of the U.S.  I think to David Young’s point, that’s the key.  We’ve got to make sure that there is access to these networks everywhere.

David Witkowski:  Yeah.  I would agree with what you said, often the comment that I make about 5G is the CEOs of the companies that are really going to make 5G a part of our daily life are probably still in high school or maybe in college.  The innovation that will occur there has yet to-- we don’t even know.  I mean, to your point, Commissioner Carr, if you look back a few years, no one could have envisioned the app economy and all of the things that 4G enabled.  So 4G really made that app economy possible, but we didn’t create the 4G network because we knew that the app economy was out there.  We created the 4G network and then the economy created itself.  And so that is, I believe, what will happen with 5G is that we will have this network and people smarter than I am will figure out a way to make it really valuable into our daily lives.  And we’ll look back ten years from now and wonder how we ever got along without the augmented reality shopping application or some other application of 5G.  David Young, what are your thoughts?

David Young:  I agree.  I agree with a lot of what’s being said.  I think that-- and this is a common theme, that many of us at the state and local level agree with the excitement around 5G, about connecting infrastructure, traffic signals, water lines, sewer lines, being able to monitor things in an affordable way, right?  There’s no business model that we can make that building fiber to every manhole to monitor storm water systems is viable.  And so 5G holds a lot of promise from a municipal and a state standpoint for managing infrastructure, for being able to deliver that infrastructure in a more affordable way.  I think the challenge we have is this narrative of driving down cost for small cell deployments equals more small cell deployments.  While it sounds intuitive in nature, the reality is when you look at Verizon and AT&T, these are some of the most profitable companies in the country.  When you look at the profitability, gross profit for Verizon was 61 percent in the first two quarters of this year, AT&T, 54 percent.  Yes, it’s important that we talk about cost.  Yes, it’s important that we talk about how we can consistently deploy across the entire country.  I think that it gets a little bit lost, and some of us have a real challenge when we’re looking at shrinking municipal budgets and shrinking state budgets and more pressure on general revenue, that the funds that are required to provide police and fire service when we have people telling us that some of the most wealthy, profitable companies in the country can’t afford to deploy at the same rates that we, as municipalities, are required to purchase this property.  When the city goes out to purchase right of way, we’re required to get appraisals for that property, three appraisals.  And we’re required by law to buy that property for market value.  But now we are saying that in order to have these exciting things, that we have to take that property that was purchased with taxpayer funds at appraised value and give it away to subsidize private companies that are extremely profitable in order to have this new technology.  It’s a challenge for us.  And I think that we can honestly disagree.  We can agree about, yes, it’s exciting.  Yes, we want it.  Yes, we want it to be streamlined.  Yes, we want information out there that helps benefit municipalities and states, have conversations with private carriers and with infrastructure on our operators.  I think all of those are laudable goals.  But when we get down to it, this narrative of if they spend $2,000 deploying in Lincoln will they not be able to deploy in Merna, Nebraska, it just doesn’t hold water when you really look at it, and that’s the challenge.  I think that we’re moving past a lot of that and having these conversations, but I think that that’s where a lot of these lawsuits are taking us is that, yes, aesthetics are control, and I really commend the FCC for having the BDAC and for eliciting a lot of input from both industry and government partners, but on this one issue, I think we have a sincere disagreement.

David Witkowski:  Well, fair enough.  Yeah.  Certainly they're going-- in an environment where you have the private sector and the public sector interacting, financial topics are likely going to be contentious, and I think that we’re-- I guess we’re iterating through the process now, Portland versus the United States and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision on that case.  TBD on what happens next, but we will eventually arrive at a negotiated agreement that, I guess, will be acceptable to all parties.  And so that then-- hopefully, we get through that and then we’re able to move into a more aggressive deployment posture.  Certainly, the deployment has been occurring as Commissioner Carr pointed out, and certainly we hear in the news every day about new networks.  I guess I wanted to ask both of you, how do we do a better job at communicating the value of 5G to the public?  What is the way to get that risk/reward trade-off discussion to show more reward versus the potential-- sort of the perceived risks that are in the public?  Commissioner Carr, maybe you want to comment on that.

Commissioner Brendan Carr:   We talked about state and local approval process.  There’s a lot of pushback that local officials get from people that believe wrongly that there are health and safety issues surrounding 5G, and it legitimately plays a role in slowing down some of the buildout out there, dozens upon dozens of scientific, epidemiological and other studies that show that this is safe.  In fact, the FDA not too long ago published a 100-plus page review of RF studies that had been released from 2008 to 2018 that looked at health effects, including tumors, leukemia, and other issues, other cancers and none demonstrated adverse effects from RF exposure at levels encountered by cell phone users.  And you can see this in your own experience in the real world.  Since the late-1980s, cell phones use across all technologies, 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, has increased at a pace that resembles a hockey stick.  And over that same period of time, the incidences of brain and other nervous system cancers have actually decreased.  There is no correlation at all.  I think if you look at the FCC, the FDA and health and safety experts, we’re all constantly reviewing the relevant science on this and taking a look at the results.  We’ve got to continue to do our part.  Industry has to do its part.  I think when you look at David Young and others, it really does come up at the state and local level.

David Witkowski:  Excellent.  Thank you.  David Young, do you have comments?  I mean, you deal directly with the public in Lincoln, and so you have direct experience with the kind of feedback that you’re going to get from residents and that Commissioner Carr has talked about.

David Young:  The challenge is how do we communicate to the broadest possible audience those things that Commissioner Carr, you, David, myself, we all understand and believe to be facts?  And how do we communicate those things in a way that’s consumable by the general population?  When you go and you search 5G effects, all of the fake news, if you will, comes to the top of the search results, not the quality studies in an executive summary format that says the consensus is there is no challenge here, and what we need to do is communicate that better.  But I did want to pick up on something you said earlier around broadband and partisanship.  My experience has been that this is an area where both parties can agree, making sure that we have broadband available for everybody, making sure that it’s deployed in a reasonable expeditious way, an efficient way.  I know in my city that when we bring small cell agreements forward, when we bring fiber leasing agreements forward, these are roundly supported by both parties.  And so, my hope is that this is an area we can get agreement on.  That may be a pie in the sky hope these days, but it is my hope.  And as I discussed earlier, we agree with the vast majority, I personally do, I know a lot of my compatriots agree, the vast majority of what’s trying to be accomplished in the small cell area.  It’s a few minor disagreements, and we’re not letting those disagreements get in the way of deployment.  We want those things deployed.  We want the technology available.  We are very excited about it in a lot of areas.  But this communication around the effects of 5G definitely is lacking a coordinated response from all parties, and I think that’s really what, as the Commissioner said, would really be valuable here is that industry, state and local leaders, organizations like the IEEE communicating with one voice, if that’s even possible, that 5G is not a health issue.

David Witkowski:  I agree with that completely.  I think that it’s important that we continue to foster the discussions and make sure that the industry and local governments are communicating and that’s, of course, one of the things that I’ve been doing in the Silicon Valley through Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a nonprofit organization that I’m part of, is trying to convene around this topic.  And while sometimes the conversation may be contentious, I think it’s better than everybody just throwing emails back and forth at each other and never seeing people on the other side of the table.  So I think, of course, in the COVID world, we’re not getting together face-to-face like we were, which I think is unfortunate, but it is critical that we continue to foster that interaction, because at the end of the day, people who are going to apply for these permits are going to have to interact with the city employees and the local government officials and the agencies who are going to review them.  And so, I think getting to the point where those are familiar faces is helpful.  One of the other things that I think is really important, and I want to ask my guests today for their thoughts on this is, I mean, cities, local governments have become very competent at dealing with roads and sidewalks and traffic lights and police and fire and parks, all the things that go along with what we would consider to be a traditional local government role.  Telecommunications is not, especially wireless telecommunications, is not something that they have traditionally been tasked with doing.  So, there’s the development of expertise there that I believe needs to occur.  I also think that because local government and agency staff are going to be the ones fielding those queries from residents for the most part, that it’s important that they really become educated about this topic.  Back in 2016, I wrote “Bridging the Gap” as a handbook for local governments, because I was getting calls back then saying, “What’s a small cell, and what’s dark fiber?”  I mean, these are literally calls that I received from local governments.  And so, we felt that it was important that we provide some sort of educational materials that would help with that.  But I think it goes beyond just providing a handbook.  I think there actually needs to be proactive education of local government on the topic so that they can respond when a constituent/resident comes to them and says, “Hey, I’m worried about this 5G,” that they can reference those studies.  They can reference the body of material that’s out there.  But the question becomes “how do we accomplish that?”  I’d ask Commissioner Carr, what are your thoughts on educating city staff, local governments, agencies on telecommunications?  How do we build that competency?

Commissioner Brendan Carr:  I think there’s been a lot of work over the last couple of years that has gone in at the state and local level to ramp up to what we’re seeing right now in terms of small cell applications.  I think a lot of what we did at the FCC was to look to state and local governments that were really leading the way.  They were updating their ordinances.  They were getting their permitting process in place, even with COVID-19.  That was disruptive to a lot of-- obviously, too much of what we do in this country, and the state and local government process is not immune to that.  And we saw a lot of state and local governments quickly moving to more online processes where they weren’t able to work or engage with carriers in person.  I think the sophistication in the approaches taken by state and local governments have been moving ahead pretty quickly.  And, again, we sort of build on a lot of their ideas that resulted in a significant uptick in small cell applications.  I think whatever learning curve was there a couple of years ago, I think state and local governments are at this point very competently reviewing and approving small cell and other permitting applications, and they’re doing so at a pace and on a scale that is multiples beyond what we were seeing just three years ago.

David Witkowski:  Certainly, things have gotten better than they were say five years ago when I took on this role.  In my experience, I think there’s a fairly wide range of competencies, and it really seems to depend upon the size of the city.  Obviously, a large city is capable of hiring somebody who can just focus on telecom, and they may even bring somebody in who has a telecom background whereas a small town that maybe has a staff of six, probably doesn’t have that.  They’re going to be looking for those outside resources to come in, but the more we can educate them, I think the easier it’s going to be for them.  David Young, you deal directly with your city, and I presume you are a leader for cities around you on some of these topics.  What are your thoughts about building competency in wireless telecommunications in local governments? 

David Young:  I’ll agree with the Commissioner.  I think that states and cities and communities have gotten a lot better over the last three to five years.  The challenge is the top 250 cities in the country by population, they probably have the budget.  They probably have the ability to hire somebody technically proficient in telecom to look at these applications.  I think the challenge is there’s 19,000 cities, towns and communities, villages in the country.  How do we assist those other communities that are not large enough or have enough budget to warrant having a full-time network engineer or telecom specialist on hand?  I think one of the areas of agreement that industry, city and county representatives and the FCC could come to is creating a repository of best practices.  What should you as a plan reviewer be looking at in a small cell application?  What should you be looking at as a construction inspector when you go to a small cell site to look at construction?  I think that common set of best practices, even when it comes to macro towers, because we’re still going to be deploying macro towers across the country for the foreseeable future, is an area that we could all agree would speed up deployment, creating those documents and distributing them in a way that allows cities to provide this information, webinars and things put on by industry or by local government partners to say, “These are the best practices,” right?  I think that would speed up deployment and would be beneficial as we continue to deploy all broadband across the country.

David Witkowski:  I guess the question would then become relative to your comments, David, is who should maintain, or who should create that, right?  I mean, is this an IEEE activity, or what’s the right way to move that, because, by the way, we’ve had that exact same query from cities in Silicon Valley.  I mean, I get this question all the time.  People say, “Well, do you have any examples?  Do you have a model ordinance?  Do you have a model MLA?”  We typically refer them to cities that are similar to their size or profile.  If a city in the East Bay of San Francisco were to ask the question, I would look at a city maybe in the South Bay to say, “Well, why don’t you take a look at what they did,” but that occurs at a local level.  I think what you’re describing is something that would occur at a national level.  So whether it’s just collecting a database of example ordinances or a set of standards-- so, I mean, is this something that the IEEE should do, or who is the right organization to create what you’ve described, because I think it’s a need, and I’ve heard the need, but I don’t know how to go about creating it.

David Young:  David, it’s a great question. You know, interest, right?  Where is the interest?  And I think that the FCC has a lot of interest, and rightfully so, in speeding up deployment and making sure that the infrastructure is available.  I think the industry also has that same interest, and cities and counties really have an interest in making sure they protect the public property.  The right of way where this infrastructure is being deployed is home to gas lines, water lines, sewer lines.  There’s a lot of other infrastructure that uses the public right of way as well.  I think that there would be value in a collaboration.  I think IEEE is a great organization to do something like this.  And to be clear, what I’m looking at is what are some best practices around plan review; what are some best practices around construction, a database of all municipal model codes and things like that.  I think the FCC and the BDAC has done some of that lifting to create a municipal model code that can be edited, cleaned up depending on what the size of your community is.  For my focus and where I think that we’re at, at this stage really is how do we educate those plan reviewers and construction inspectors so that once-- to get this permit issued quickly and to get the construction moving forward, how do we do that?  And I think the IEEE would be a good home for that.  I’m not volunteering the IEEE for anything, but I think that would be good.  I also think that, candidly, the BDAC has a lot of those interests.  There’s a lot of members of the BDAC who potentially could weigh in and provide a lot of value to that discussion.  How do you do that?

David Witkowski:  Commissioner Carr, do you have thoughts on that?

Commissioner Brendan Carr:  I think it’s great if we can continue to find ways to collaborate.  Look, at the end of the day, a lot of the steps that we’ve taken at the FCC are not to be prescriptive from a federal level, but to enable the private sector and local governments to have reasonable, good faith discussions about how to move forward.  And I think the private sector has to be reasonable in their approach, and I think cities and local governments with the guardrails that we’ve put in place have to be reasonable on their approach.  But at the end of the day, this really has to be solved by compromises and negotiations at the local level taking place within a reasonable framework.  I think that’s what we try to structure at the federal level.  I think that’s something that can be built on in terms of some of the expertise that’s needed in some of the smaller communities.

David Witkowski:  This has been a great conversation.  I really appreciate both of you taking time from your schedules to be part of this today.  Excellent conversation and excellent survey of the topics.  I hope we’ll have a chance to communicate again in the future.  Thank you, both, for being part of the podcast today. 

David Young:  David, Commissioner, thanks for having me as well.  I really appreciate the topic and the importance.  It was a good conversation.

David Witkowski:  Thanks very much for being here today.

Commissioner Brendan Carr:  Thanks so much for having me.  I really appreciated the conversation.

Brian Walker:  Thank you for listening to this edition of the IEEE Future Networks Podcast with the Experts.  Discover more about the IEEE Future Networks initiative and inquire about participating in this effort by visiting our web portal at