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Nebraska Governor Signs Bill Expanding 5G Potential

Gov. Pete Ricketts hosted a ceremonial bill signing for the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act.

Nebraska became the 25th state to pass small cell legislation to assist in 5G broadband access at a ceremonial bill signing in Lincoln May 30.

The Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act, known as LB 184, modernizes telecommunications statutes to allow for the installation of small cell antennas, according to the bill’s statement of intent.

Whereas current cellular data travels between towers and antennas, small cell antennas are roughly the size of a mini fridge, according to Verizon. This allows the hardware to be mounted on streetlights, utility poles, buildings and more. The goal of LB 184 is to build 5G network infrastructure, including small cells, with a predicted infusion of $1.5 billion into Nebraska’s economy as a result, according to a release. 

Gov. Pete Ricketts said access to next-generation broadband will foster even more connectivity and opportunities for Nebraskans. 

“I look forward to seeing the growth that this generates as more and more 5G technology comes on board and keeps our state moving forward,” Ricketts said in a press release

LB 184 was introduced by Sen. Curt Friesen of Henderson. The Nebraska state Legislature approved the bill with a vote of 44-0. The bill also aims to improve public safety, create jobs, and assist schools and businesses in remaining competitive in the global economy, according to the statement of intent.

Patrick Groves was a staff writer for Government Technology from 2019 to 2020.