By JACK WEATHERLY
C Spire publicly tested its 5G ultra-fast fixed-wireless technology on Tuesday, and brought along an FCC commissioner to cheer it on.
Brendan Carr, is in the 3-2 Republican majority that overturned the Obama-era imposition of rules intended to ensure a level Internet playing field and protection of consumers.
Instead, Carr has said, the opposite happened. Investment and innovation was curbed and broadband expansion was slowed. Critics still fear the effects of the loosening of regulations.
The Democrat-majority commission in 2015 applied Title II of the 1934 Communications Act to broadband communications and reclassified service providers as common carriers to be held to standards similar to telephone, gas and electric providers.
Carr has been designated as the agency’s lead on wireless infrastructure deployment.
Hence, he lauded C Spire’s new 5G technology developed by Santa Clara, Calif.-based Cohere Technologies.
“We need to drive out unnecessary regulatory costs and speed the timeline for obtaining permits so that companies can build and deploy the infrastructure that will power our digital economy,” Carr said in a release issued Tuesday at the Ridgeland-based telecom’s headquarters.
The broadband expansion is part of the company’s C Spire Tech Movement announced in September.
In a 2016 report, the FCC put Mississippi at or near the bottom in terms of broadband access.
A key feature of C Spire’s Tech Movement is its expansion of of broadband and 5G fixed wireless Internet access to more than 250,000 consumers and businesses across the state and one of every five of the 250,000 businesses in the state.
C Spire President Stephen Bye and Cohere Technologies Chief Executive Shlomo Rakib, said in the release that 5G speeds will pave the way for a wider adoption of existing technology such as Internet of things, smart cities, artificial intelligence, telehealth and telemedicine as well as encouraging futuristic things such as self-driving autos.
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