A new report by Accenture Strategy found that regulations imposed by the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act (NHPA/NEPA) cost 5G wireless providers nearly $36 million in 2017 and consumed 29% of all related deployment costs, on average. With small cell deployment expected to grow significantly in coming years, the report finds that wireless providers will incur $2.43 billion in NHPA/NEPA regulatory costs from 2018 to 2026. Therefore, if the costs of NHPA/NEPA regulations were cut by two-thirds, 5G wireless providers throughout the U.S. would have an additional $1.56 billion to invest in small cell deployment.
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr recently announced a new proposal that would cut NHPA/NEPA regulatory costs by 80%. If adopted, 5G wireless providers would have even more cost savings to allocate towards additional small cell deployment.