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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 10 mins ago - World

In reversal, Pentagon now says drone strike killed 10 Afghan civilians

Caskets for the dead are carried towards the gravesite as relatives and friends attend a mass funeral for members of a family that is said to have been killed in a U.S. drone airstrike, in Kabul on Aug. 30. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A U.S. drone strike launched on Aug. 29 killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan, including seven children, rather than the Islamic State extremists the Biden administration claimed it targeted, the Pentagon said Friday.

Why it matters: U.S. Central Command said at the time that officials "know" the drone strike "disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat" to Kabul's airport, and that they were "confident we successfully hit the target."

UN warns of "catastrophic" climate change failure without more emissions cuts

UN Secretary-General António Guterres at a news conference. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

A United Nations report released Friday warned that the planet will likely warm by more than 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century unless governments take extra steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Why it matters: The report, released just months ahead of November's UN Climate Summit, highlights the growing pressure on global leaders to crack down on emissions to avert the worst effects of climate change.