Lawmakers pave way for fast 5G cell service in Florida

Posted at 4:56 PM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-01 16:56:20-04

Florida legislators have cleared the way for phone companies to make your connection even faster with 5G (5th Generation) technology.

The service would allow devices to download data at the fastest speeds possible. It would be quick enough to help make driverless cars and smart cities a reality.

USF Associate Professor  Dr. Jusin Brown says it will go beyond quicker downloads.

"You can all a sudden stream video but not subscribe to cable anymore," he said, "or, you can subscribe to your wireless and get all kinds of video."

However, before this can happen cell companies will need to install new equipment throughout Florida.

Before your phone can take advantage, cell companies need to install new equipment throughout Florida.

The legislature passed bills in the House (HB 687) and Senate (SB 596) to make it easier for those companies to install that equipment. Now, the proposal awaits approval from Governor Rick Scott.

The law would allow Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, and others to install “small wireless facilities” on public land and existing telephone poles.

But several local governments dislike the bill. City officials argued the proposal severely limits how municipalities can control, regulate and charge cell companies as they make these upgrades.