Rauner signs bipartisan Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act
"Can you hear me now?" will no longer be the question in the Prairie State.
Gov. Bruce Rauner was loud and clear when announcing the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act (SB1451), which he recently signed with Republican lawmakers at this side.
“SB1451 ... will bring ultra-fast 5G wireless technology and much greater economic growth to the state of Illinois,” Rauner said.
5G and smart-city Investments are expected to create nearly 100,000 new jobs that will bring in $9 billion in the next seven years, Rauner said, adding bipartisan support made it possible.
“I would like to commend the work of the General Assembly," Rauner said. "Democrats and Republicans came together. It wasn’t easy. There was a lot of trade-off in the negotiations, but we got it done.”
Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard) said in the House, both parties "worked wonderfully well together," pointing out Rep. Mike Fortner's (R-West Chicago) important opinion on the subject.
“As the former mayor of West Chicago, he was able to bring some of the municipal concerns to bear and really ensure that all the players were there together and got the best compromise available,” Breen said. “This really shows what we can do together.”
Midwest neighbors will envy the Prairie State as they watch Illinois blossom with innovation and job growth, according to the governor, who said the act would assure faster internet service, greater download speeds and improved service, especially in downstate areas where limited large towers serve communities.
“These cell towers are going to be small and flexible in terms of where they can be positioned down at street level right on signs and posts,” Rauner said, adding the processes will be streamlined and simplified. “But we are still retaining the authority for local communities to zone and approve specific technology.”
Illinois Chamber of Commerce President Todd Maisch also commended both sides of the aisle on some contentious issues that will give small business a real chance.
“At the end of the day, innovation and the jobs of tomorrow really won out in this process,” Maisch said, adding Mattoon and other smaller areas will benefit from the act. “It is really going to facilitate investments across the state of Illinois when they may not have been made without this regulatory certainty.”
The measure was a win, keeping Illinois on the cutting edge of technology, said Illinois Manufacturers' Association Vice President Mark Denzler, who said most Illinoisans cannot imagine life without a smartphone.
“Today we have the internet of things,” Denzler said. “Factories and machines talk to other machines, machines notify workers about operating conditions and we live in a smart world. The new law signed by the governor today will allow these innovative and life-saving technologies to be developed in Illinois manufacturing companies."
Seeing the bill through was a great collaboratives process, according to Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy).
“I think we will all be better off for it,” Tracy said.
New technology development depends upon greater communication efficiency and Illinois is now one of 13 states to lead the nation.
“This legislation sends a strong signal that we are competitive in Illinois and are open for business,” Rauner said before signing SB1451.