Next Generation Wireless

On November 30th, Governor Gina Raimondo announced a Request for Information (RFI) designed to spark a conversation with national telecommunications firms and other stakeholders about how the state can create the best climate for the development of next generation broadband networks, including 5G (Fifth Generation Wireless) networks.

This effort, led by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission and Division of Public Utilities and Carriers and the Rhode Island Office of Innovation, aims to position Rhode Island as the first state to pilot large-scale deployment of 5G wireless networks, support real-world experimentation, and signal continued efforts towards attracting new high-tech businesses to grow in the State.

“To create the jobs of the future, we must have the infrastructure of the future.  This RFI sends a signal that Rhode Island is open for business as a lab state for innovation -- the ideal place to test new technologies like 5G wireless.”

In July, the Federal Communications Commission designated a large block of spectrum for next-generation wireless broadband services, as well as fixed networks that could supplant current wired broadband. “5G services will provide speeds up to 100 times faster than those delivered by today's wireless networks.

Rhode Island is an ideal place to rollout 5G wireless due to the state’s size, population density, and ability to provide the regulatory flexibility to test new models. Additionally, Rhode Island is consistently ranked at or near the top of all states in the nation for broadband coverage and speeds, and possesses the robust wired networks upon which 5G deployments depend.