Letter of support for 5G deployment in the District

March 15, 2019

Public Space Committee
D.C. Dept. of Transportation
55 M Street, SE, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20003

VIA EMAIL: [email protected]


Dear Members of the Public Space Committee:

The Greater Washington Board of Trade, the region’s oldest business organization, urges you to approve 5G small cell deployment in the District.

5G is a game-changer. It can deliver data rates as high as 1 gigabit per second, as much as 20 times faster than 4G. Small cells are necessary to meet rising demand for data, which is projected to grow 7x by 2021.

But the implications of super-fast data go way beyond streaming videos and Snapchat filters. Just as 4G made innovative new business models like Uber and Lyft possible, 5G will unlock a new universe of services and capabilities.

A powerful example is autonomous vehicles. For cars to drive themselves, they require a super-fast cellular data network. With 5G, self-driving cars could become a reality. While we’d all like the convenience, the most important advantage is that this technology can save lives. Human choice is linked to 94 percent of serious traffic accidents; there were over 37,400 lives lost on US roads in 2016. The United States Department of Transportation estimates that over 80 percent of non-impaired incidents could be mitigated by the implementation of connected vehicle technology, which includes any vehicle with wireless connectivity capabilities.

This technology will provide enormous benefits for people and our economy safely and with little disruption to our physical spaces. The federal government has thoroughly evaluated this technology and has found that it is safe for the public. 5G small cell hardware can be inconspicuously installed in existing infrastructure such as utility poles and streetlights to blend in seamlessly with the area’s historic neighborhoods.

Overall, 5G technology is a critical step in taking advantage of 21st century economic opportunities and bringing the D.C. region to the forefront of technological progress. Thank you for considering this opportunity.



Jack McDougle
President and CEO
Greater Washington Board of Trade