TESTIMONY before the Committee on Transportation and the Environment on The Implementation of 5G Small Cell Teachnology in the District”
Monday, November 19, 2018
by pedro alfonso | on Behalf of The Metro DC Hispanic Contractors Association
Chairperson Cheh and members of the Committee on Transportation and the Environment I would like to thank you for organizing this important hearing on small cell development in the District of Columbia. My name is Pedro Alfonso, President and CEO of Dynamic Concepts Inc and Board member of the Metro DC Hispanic Contractors Association (HCA). I am here today to testify on behalf of the Hispanic Contractor Association, a multi-cultural member organization comprised of mostly small businesses that are either in or supporting the construction industry in DC and around the region.
Our association has reviewed the value of small cell deployment in the District, and find the benefits to the community, the District and to our members undeniable. Small Cell technology promises to maintain our nation’s Capital as a leader in providing state-of-the-Art technology solutions that will make our city a safer, more broadly educated and productive community. Advancing and building out a network to deploy the 5G (Fifth Generation) technology is in lockstep with promoting the District as a Smart City that will give many of those in our community access to WiFi, remote learning and law enforcement tools that could reduce crime. We believe that one major factor that bolsters the City’s competitiveness in the region and in the world as it attracts new businesses and some of country’s brightest minds is its continued investment in its technology infrastructure starting back with the buildout of DC Net.
The deployment of a Small Cell Solution (SCS) in the District will facilitate the buildout of a 5G network to allow and improve technologies like remote education, improved medical treatments and reduce crime rate. The District, as a developing Smart City, needs to have the infrastructure capacity to provide technology to have concepts like Smart Bus service, Smart Buildings for more efficient energy consumption and providing internet speeds and capacity for forward thinking businesses. The small cell deployment would even eventually assist our senior citizens to age-in-place with remote monitoring of their medications, telehealth services and other services like tracking those lifesaving indicators from sleep to insulin levels all made possible with the power of a 5G network.
Our members at the Metro DC Hispanic Contractors Association are all too familiar with the costs and impediments relating to the construction of this deployment. There may be, as often are, community concerns to more changes or even the disruptions regarding seemingly nuisance construction, but it is only a temporary price for the long-term benefits that our citizens will receive. Our own members are often faced with similar issues associated with difficult and excessive permitting processes, the same ones that can delay this deployment process, but every day that SCS deployment is delayed the District gets further behind in competing for new businesses and creating new jobs. These hurdles, which are often avoidable, impede essential development that would make Washington, DC an even better place to live while giving our citizens a robust and high-performance end user experience.
Much like the other projects our members are tasked with constructing, small cells deployment offers immense value to DC, our members and their families. If our city is to have any shot at remaining a preeminent place to live, work, and raise a family we need to move forward with small cell deployment.
The Metro DC Hispanic Contractor’s Association does what it can to support employment of DC residents and entrepreneurship for our members – and 5G is bound to greatly enhance those objectives. HCA is currently working on a major training initiative through its partnership with the Carlos Rosario International Charter School to train our DC residents in the construction trades and prepare them for the skills they will need to not only construct this proposed network of the future but to take advantage of all the great benefits small cell deployment will produce. We are confident that the buildout of small cell deployment, or at least the opportunities made possible by 5G connectivity, and the next-generation of wireless will provide many employment opportunities and small business growth here in DC.
The District should provide a straightforward and unencumbered path to the advances a 5G network can provide. Advances such as improving traffic congestion, through Intelligent Traffic Management Solutions or improving how we monitor and manage vital health services especially for our increasing homebound seniors or just enabling autonomous mobility. It will happen all though a faster, higher capacity 5G network only feasibly possible through the deployment of an organized, structured last mile small cell deployment. Like many other American cities, Washington, DC is currently tasked with moving forward with a small cell deployment strategy. We must recognize this technology’s importance and do what we can to ensure an expeditious buildout. The Metro DC Hispanic Contractor’s Association feels that the need for small cell deployment in the District in the short term is undeniable and will be unavoidable if we want to advance and maintain the strides as one of the leading and preeminent cities in the world.
The Hispanic Contractor’s Association thanks you for this opportunity to testify.