The FCC needs to cut unnecessary regulation, starting with parts of the 2015 net neutrality rules, to spur the growth of broadband, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Thursday at the Institute for Policy Innovation in Irving, Texas.
"Broadband networks are expensive to build. And they don't have to be built. Capital doesn't have to be spent. Risks don't have to be taken. So the more difficult government makes the business case for deployment, the less likely it is that broadband providers, big and small, will invest the billions of dollars needed to connect consumers."
Pai said cutting wireless siting red tape is key to 5G, which will require network densification and building small cells across many markets. "We are talking about hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of small cells," supported by backhaul, he said.
"That's a lot of approvals that will have to be given -- and a lot of possibilities for delay and higher costs."
Rules "designed for 100-foot towers might not make sense for small cells that are the size of a pizza box," he said.