5G To Arrive In Arkansas By 2021; Fayetteville To Expand Broadband Access

(Photo by Arne Dedert / dpa / AFP) / Germany OUT (Photo credit should read ARNE DEDERT/AFP/Getty Images)

(TB&P) — Mobile phone service 5G is the next generation of cellular technology after 4G LTE, and cellular service providers are expected to offer nationwide 5G service by 2020 or 2021.

Sean Kinney, the managing partner of content for Arden Media and editor in chief of RCR Wireless News, said providers are continuing to release the service in U.S. cities this year, and it should be offered in the next couple of years in areas of Arkansas where existing cellular service is available.

Kinney was one of two speakers Thursday (March 21) at a meeting in Fayetteville as part of a project to expand broadband access for residents and businesses in the city. Mayor Lioneld Jordan has established a task force to determine how to improve access, and the task force is expected to present a plan in May to the Fayetteville City Council. The goal is for the plan to be approved as part of the mayor’s master plan, said Michelle Gibeault, chairwoman of the Digital Inclusion Task Force.

Gibeault, who is a teaching librarian at the University of Arkansas, spoke about the history of net neutrality policies and took questions regarding the potential outcome of bills and lawsuits challenging the 2017 repeal of net neutrality. The net neutrality rules, or the Open Internet Order, approved in 2015 required internet service providers to treat all online traffic as equal, restricting the slowing or increasing of internet speeds for specific websites. Whether the United States will have open internet remains uncertain, said Gibeault, adding that a recent poll shows 82% of respondents support net neutrality.

Read more about 5G technology coming to Arkansas from our partners at Talk Business & Politics.

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