FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has proposed designating Boston, Massachusetts and Raleigh, North Carolina as innovation zones to allow for the research, development, and integration of 5G network technologies, Open RAN, and advanced wireless communications. The FCC will vote on the proposal on August 5 during its open meeting.
Innovation zones are FCC-established, city-scale wireless technology test beds managed by the National Science Foundation’s Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research. The test beds extend the areas in which experimental program licensees can conduct testing. Licensees have the capability to conduct multiple unrelated experiments in the zone. Additionally, experimental license holders that are licensed to operate elsewhere can use the zone. The FCC established New York City and Salt Lake City as the first designated innovation zones.