5G Workshop at Civic Center on Tuesday

Supervisor Katie Rice 

5G Workshop on Tuesday at Civic Center

Lots of issues on tap in 2019 for community discussion, debate, and some decision making as well. Among them is 5G (fifth-generation cellular wireless technology), which I address below and do so knowing there are strong views on all sides, as well as an ongoing opportunity for everyone to learn more about the issue, engage in objective fact checking, and participate in the discussion.

5G is the latest in development of mobile networks and technology anticipated to significantly increase data speeds and support the development of other new technologies such as autonomous vehicles, smart homes, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things with billions of connected devices.  Wireless access for homes and enhanced mobile services are likely to be the first applications using the new 5G technology. Though there are currently no phones on the market compatible with 5G, they are expected to be released sometime in 2020. In anticipation, telecommunication companies are planning for, and in some areas beginning to install, the physical infrastructure (hardwire backbone) necessary to support 5G. However, with all the promise of 5G, also comes concerns and questions – from aesthetics, to health impacts, to compromised local regulatory authority, and more.

Recently, the County of Marin joined a court action to take a stand with other public agencies against the federal ruling for 5G deployment. The County took the legal step to protest the Federal Communications Commission’s seizing of local control on the deployment of 5G and how implementation costs can be recovered.

Towards answering questions and upping our understanding of 5G, its potential value as well as impacts, the Board of Supervisors has planned a public workshop on February 5, 5:30pm at the Marin County Civic Center (3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 308, San Rafael). The workshop will include a review of the County’s current telecommunication policy and regulation (applicable to unincorporated Marin only), updates on the local impacts of a recent federal ruling for 5G deployment and provide an opportunity to hear from residents. For those who can’t attend, the workshop will be webcast live on www.marincounty.org and archived there for later viewing.

In addition to participating in the February 5 workshop, residents are also encouraged to take part in an online survey to measure support and concerns related to 5G.  The survey will be available on the County’s Open Marin online tool through March 31 and results will be shared with the Board as we consider potential changes to the County’s current telecommunications policy.

For more information and to subscribe for updates, residents can visit the new 5G webpage developed by the County’s Community Development Agency (CDA).  The recent press release also includes information on how to share thoughts about 5G with County officials by email or mail.

Contact Info:

Supervisor Katie Rice





District 2 Aides:

Nancy Vernon




Jen Gauna