Rhode Island State House

STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly this week gave its approval to legislation sponsored by Rep. Stephen R. Ucci and Sen. Louis P. DiPalma to pave the way for Rhode Island to become an early adopter of 5th generation mobile networks (5G) – the next generation of wireless networks, the Legislative Press and Public Information Burea announced today.

The legislation, which will now be forwarded to the governor, will facilitate the installation of technology for the network in Rhode Island, which would encourage high-tech business growth as well as enabling Rhode Islanders to take advantage of new technology and the fastest wireless speeds available, the sponsors said.

“Making Rhode Island an easy place for telecommunications firms to set up 5G technology would be an economic development tool for Rhode Island. We would be ahead of many other states, and it would make us attractive to tech companies that want the newest, fastest communication technology available. Ordinary Rhode Islanders would also be able to take advantage of the network to enjoy the same advantages. This is a way for our state to encourage private investment, at no financial cost to us, and reap the rewards of increased economic activity,” said Representative Ucci (D-Dist. 42, Johnston, Cranston).

Said Senator DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Newport, Little Compton, Tiverton),“Having the most up-to-date, high-speed communications networks widely available throughout Rhode Island would be a huge selling point for the kinds of startups and growing firms that are the future of our economy and can offer Rhode Islanders high-paying jobs. This legislation is a way to position our state to add state-of-the-art communications capability to the many advantages we already offer businesses, including strong higher-education institutions, close proximity to Boston and New York as well as major highways and transportation infrastructure”.

The legislation (2017-H 5224 Baa2017-S 0342Baa) would allow wireless service providers authorized to do business in the state to install the small equipment necessary to establish a 5G network in Rhode Island alongside existing infrastructure such as poles, public rights of way or buildings. It would not give providers the ability to install anything on private property without the permission of the owner. While the work would be subject to normalbuilding, electrical and public right-of-way use or work permits and any other permits that would normally be required of communications service providers, the bill would ensure that no new laws or fees are set up to limit or discourage wireless service providers from installing or maintaining such a network, and require that state and local agencies respond in a timely manner to applications for such permits.

The legislation is cosponsored by Rep. Thomas Winfield (D-Dist. 53, Smithfield, Glocester), Rep. Daniel P. McKiernan (D-Dist. 7, Providence) and Rep. Kathleen A. Fogarty (D-Dist. 35, South Kingstown), Sen. Daniel Da Ponte (D-Dist. 14, East Providence), Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham) and Sen. Ryan W. Pearson (D-Dist. 19, Cumberland, Lincoln).

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.