5G Wireless Could Come to Illinois

Apr 13, 2018

A cell phone tower at dusk.
Credit Gary Lerude / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Thursday signed legislation that will bring so-called 5G wireless technology to the state. Some cities are worried about the unintended consequences. 

Wireless providers can now install small devices on utility poles. These will increase cell phone or internet signal, promising faster connections.

But opponents say cities will lose authority over how much they can charge private companies for using their public infrastructure. Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder says this opens the door for other proposals that overstep local authority.

“Usually that’s the fear of new legislation,  is ok, you’ve already started that, so is this where it stops, or is this just a stepping stone to the next level of infringement.” Langfelder said. 

Gov. Rauner says the legislation is needed to bring better technology to consumers and attract more investment and jobs to the state.