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Commissioner Brendan Carr. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Federal Communications Commission will vote next month on a plan to get U.S. 5G networks built out faster by clarifying rules on updating existing wireless infrastructure.

The big picture: The plan builds on past action the agency has taken over the objections of cities. The FCC's GOP majority says rule changes, including preempting cities in some cases, will make it quicker, cheaper and easier for wireless carriers to build out their 5G networks.

Details: Commissioner Brendan Carr, who is leading the agency's work on wireless infrastructure, told Axios the latest proposal focuses on replacing or modifying existing wireless equipment with new gear that can carry 5G signals.

  • “This is going to take 3G and 4G sites and make it easier and faster to upgrade them to 5G," Carr said.

The plan, set for a June 9 vote, would clarify:

  • the starting point of a 60-day shot clock on whether to allow a wireless equipment installation;
  • what equipment can go on an existing structure; and
  • what rules cities can impose around concealing equipment or making it aesthetically pleasing.

Yes, but: Some cities have warned the commission against making such rule changes, which wireless industry groups have requested.

  • "The current public health crisis has proven that local governments are eminently capable of working in partnership with industry stakeholders to dedicate resources where they are needed most," a slew of Western cities including San Jose, Boulder and Tacoma told the agency last month.
  • "The commission should celebrate these success stories and not view this moment as an opportunity to further preempt local authority."

Go deeper: The battle over 5G deployment in America's cities

Go deeper

The pandemic is hitting city budgets harder than the Great Recession

Expand chart
Data: National League of Cities; Chart: Axios Visuals

With tax revenue in free-fall and expenditures dramatically rising, the coronavirus pandemic is on pace to hit cities' finances even harder than the Great Recession.

Why it matters: Almost all cities are required to balance their budgets, and at this rate they'll have no choice but to cut more services, layoff or furlough more workers and freeze capital projects.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.