Bills enabling 5G technology headed to governor

Nofs: ‘The path to improved technology and interconnectedness is clearer’

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate on Thursday gave final approval to bills sponsored by Sens. Mike Nofs and Joe Hune that would help enable “small cell” technology companies to increase their coverage and capacity.

“Small cells” are small, low-powered cellular antennas that enhance wireless networks. Small cell technologies are expected to lay the groundwork for future technologies such as the highly anticipated fifth generation of mobile communication networks (“5G”) and autonomous, connected automobiles.

“Our technological world is becoming increasingly interconnected all the time, with 5G promising a great leap forward in speed and capacity,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “This legislation provides a critical framework for innovations that will propel investment in our state.”

Senate Bills 894 (Nofs) and 637 (Hune) would reduce permitting restrictions and cap fees for small cell technologies.

Nofs said this will enable expansion in the industry.

“There has been explosive growth in the amount of data utilized on wireless networks, and there is a critical need for additional infrastructure to support interconnected communities,” Nofs said. “This will drive economic development and investment across the state.”

The lawmaker thanked Sen. Hune for sponsoring SB 637.

“Passage of these important measures would not have been possible if not for Senator Hune’s enthusiasm for this issue,” Nofs said. “The path to improved technology and interconnectedness is clearer.”

SBs 637 and 894 now head to the governor, who is expected to sign them into law.