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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

Kim Hart, author of Cities
Aug 13, 2020 - Economy & Business

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.

Mike Allen, author of AM
23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear. Read episode 1.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.