Increased Wireless Speeds Likely Coming To Tennessee

Posted at 6:11 PM, Apr 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-11 19:10:59-04

A bill that would bring 5G wireless technology to Tennessee was passed by the senate.

It passed through the state senate on Wednesday with minimal resistance.

The legislation would allow the construction of cell phone towers much smaller than the ones currently providing 4G speeds to Tennessee cell phone owners.

5G is the next step in mobile cell phone speeds and the bill's sponsor, state senator Bill Ketron, said it could increase data speeds up to one hundred times current speeds.

"There's going to have to be smaller cells and shorter distances in order for that data to travel," said senator Ketron. "It's too much data to get it to the big tower. So, that's what the 5G does across our state."

However, Senator Lee Harris raised some concerns about about a maximum fee municipalities can charge wireless carriers who contract to build the infrastructure.

"It does give me pause that we would intervene with these negotiations and set a price or set a cap to a price," said senator Harris. "Previously, city and counties could enter into open negotiation with big industry and a price could be determined as a result of those negotiations."

Ketron said he believes implementing the infrastructure will not take much time and Tennesseans could start seeing 5G speeds as early as 2019.