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Laying the Foundation for Wireless Communications for the Future

Widely inconsistent land-use rules and regulations are governing the development of wireless communications in Virginia's localities; these policies are limiting our ability to develop a reliable communications network throughout the Commonwealth. Wireless communications have become the primary means of communication, public safety, and economic development, particularly in rural areas where advances in communications infrastructure are not economically feasible.  To address this, I introduced HB1347 in 2016, which is designed to put Virginia at the cutting edge of the nation by preparing us for the 5G wireless infrastructure statewide.

With the support of the House Commerce and Labor Committee, my HB1347 was carried over to the 2017 session so that a work group comprised of senior members of the House, stakeholders in the wireless industry and local governments, and the Commonwealth’s Secretary of Technology could fine-tune this vital legislation.

In 2017, we once again worked on this issue but were unable to get the bill passed on the House floor due to opposition from special interest groups who didn't want to lose the ability to charge wireless companies exorbitant fees. We established a new work group to work on the issue during the summer of 2017 with all the stakeholders at the table.

In 2018, Delegate Kilgore and I have introduced bi-partisan legislation to prevent Virginia from missing out on critical infrastructure investment from the wireless companies. I am working hard this session to ensure that Virginia can continue to have the wireless infrastructure that supports public safety, increases economic development, and serves our citizens and visitors with cutting-edge, high-quality technology.

Virginia has already missed out on significant investment in the wireless and broadband sectors, but I am truly optimistic that with the support of many members of the legislature, the executive branch, local government, and private industry, this year's bill will finally become successful legislation, expanding the future of wireless communications in Virginia. 

Paid for and authorized by Steve Heretick for Delegate
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