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Encouraging the Support of Infrastructure Build Out to Pave the Way for Next Generation Networks

WHEREAS, mobile broadband access is critical in creating economically sustainable communities of color; and

WHEREAS, in particular, the African American community leads the nation in wireless broadband adoption – 12% of African Americans are smartphone-dependent, compared with 4% of Whites according to the April 2015 Pew Research Center Report, U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015, a phenomenon the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council has named the "Minority Wireless Miracle"; and

WHEREAS, building on the value of wireless service to consumers, the next generation of mobile connectivity, known as 5G, will increase network reliability, reduce latency (delays in data communications), provide consumers and businesses with higher speeds, and be capable of serving a greater number of wireless devices than current technology; and

WHEREAS, to ensure the success of next generation technology, wireless carriers will have to deploy small antenna infrastructure connected via wireline fiber facilities; and

WHEREAS, 5G signals cover shorter distances than 4G signals, thus requiring several times as many smaller cells than traditional cell towers; next generation networks work only if deployed intensively; and

WHEREAS, in order for next generation networks to have maximum impact for consumers and extend the Minority Wireless Miracle, wireless carriers and state and local governments – especially in densely populated urban areas - must work together to encourage the deployment of this technology; and

WHEREAS, local governments should balance the deployment of new generation wireless technology with local governments' role in managing rights-of-way, maintaining safe communities, and promoting economic development; and

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls upon local governments to modernize their permitting processes to include, but not limited to, an equitable Community Benefits Agreement to enable the rapid deployment of small antenna infrastructure to support next generation networks; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP urges local governments to work collaboratively with businesses to bring next generation networks to their cities; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, members of the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate, the Chairman and Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission, and other federal, state and local government officials as appropriate.

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