Fifth generation wireless broadband technology—or 5G—is expected to revolutionize communication and transform numerous industries when fully deployed. Compared to 4G LTE, 5G will not only enable higher speeds for video traffic, especially video streaming, conferencing, and virtual reality, it will also become the choice network for the internet of things, artificial intelligence applications, and other broadband-enabled functions. Access to 5G has the potential to narrow the digital divide, paving the way for underserved and unserved communities and their citizens to receive services ranging from health care to education. So, when can Americans expect access to 5G? And how will it affect individual consumers, communities, and industries?
On June 26, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a fireside chat with FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr about the future of 5G. Commissioner Carr discussed his efforts to accelerate this mobile deployment by changing or updating regulatory processes, getting more people connected to the internet, and leveraging 5G build-outs to create jobs. He also shared his experiences after more than 1,200 miles of travel to urban and rural areas, where he explored the need for faster broadband networks to engage in economic development activities and improve the well-being of citizens.
After the session, participants took audience questions.