Calgary recommends national digital strategy addressing 5G deployment

Originally published by The Wire Report

The City of Calgary says the government should develop a “modernized” national digital strategy that addresses open access infrastructure policies, municipal rights-of-way, smart city urban design and new 5G funding structures that could “address gaps and deficiencies during roll out.”

“A clear, comprehensive and coherent digital strategy that aligns with federal, provincial and municipal mandates would lay a strong foundation in supporting the deployment of resources to enable 5G infrastructure, resources and service,” reads a recommendation from the city’s submission to the expert panel consulting on Canada’s telecommunications laws.

It pitched that Calgary could serve as the test-case for such a strategy, noting it’s working on a pilot project for 5G deployment and that the city aims to be ready for 5G roll-out by 2020.

The submission cautions the expert panel against meddling with jurisdiction over “passive infrastructure” without first creating a “cohesive strategy,” or risk slower deployment and conflict between stakeholders. “Federal, provincial and municipal strategies that align with industry requirements can offer opportunities for new governance models for passive infrastructure. In the absence of a cohesive strategy, a new governance model on passive infrastructure could cause confusion, reduce investment, create adversarial relationships and even slow 5G deployment.”

The submission also says the panel should launch an “in-depth investigation of the realities of 5G deployment and the assumptions made about passive municipal infrastructure and its limits, capacities and implementation challenges to ensure the right provisions for governance are in place” before it recommends any legislative changes.

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