Special to the Opelika Observer
On Thursday, the Alabama Senate approved a bill that will provide the small cell infrastructure necessary for Alabama to have 5G technology available for capable devices. Senate Bill 172 which was sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) passed with a vote of 30-0.
More than 25 states including Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas have already passed 5G legislation, with other states looking to make the jump into 5G this year.
“I thought it was imperative for the continued growth of our economy to remain competitive with our neighboring states and not wait any longer to enact 5G legislation,” Senator Orr said.
“The economic impact that comes along with this technology is vital as we to increase our commitment and invest in the infrastructure of our state. This bill will pave the way for Alabama to standardize the permitting process for small cell wireless equipment and services,” Senator Orr added.
It is estimated that small cell technology could lead to more than $4 billion in investments and over 7,000 jobs per year in Alabama.
Senate Bill 172 was approved after a lengthy discussion in the Senate body which included amendments to address current agreements between cities and wireless providers.
“I would like to thank my colleagues in the Senate for their support, it is not often that we see agreement across party lines on issues, but I believe this highlights that fact that this is of the upmost importance to Alabama,” Senator Orr said. “I would also like to give a special thanks to Senator Marsh and Senator Givhan who worked between all interested parties and added amendments to ensure that the bill that was voted on was agreed to by everyone involved so that nobody was left out of this crucial piece of legislation.”
“5G” stands for 5th generation wireless and is the next generation for high speed wireless cellular networks.
Senate Bill 172 now goes to the House of Representatives for their consideration.