5G Technology and the IoT Introduce New Regulatory and Security Concerns for Developers | Pillsbury – Gravel2Gavel Construction & Real Estate Law

5G Technology and the IoT Introduce New Regulatory and Security Concerns for Developers | Pillsbury – Gravel2Gavel Construction & Real Estate Law

  • Technology
  • May 18, 2022
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  • 6 minutes read


In recent years, the proptech movement has become entrenched in the lexicon of the real estate industry, as developers use the term as a general term to use technology in the construction of new commercial buildings and begin planning smart cities. ligents. Different technologies incorporate wireless sensors, broadband service, and other cloud-based applications to reduce energy costs, improve transportation, and improve security.

At the same time, the introduction of these technologies increases the likelihood that homeowners will need to incorporate an additional layer (or two) of due diligence when incorporating these services. Not only have many Internet of Things (IoT) devices used the wireless spectrum to communicate with other devices, but recent actions by the federal government have led to a ban on certain Chinese-made computers. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is primarily responsible for devices that use wireless spectrum and also implements federal policy regarding devices that may involve national security issues.

With that in mind, here are some considerations that real estate developers need to keep in mind when incorporating newer technologies into their plans.

Deploying 5G may offer new revenue opportunities.
One of the keys to developing the IoT ecosystem is to build a reliable network that integrates wireless technologies. Over the last few years, wireless operators and product developers have been busy building wireless networks and products based on 5G technology. Networks built to run on a 5G-based platform will provide substantially higher speeds with less delay (latency) between points. While most readers are aware of the term “5G” in the endless announcements of mobile phones, device manufacturers have also begun to use 5G technology for commercial applications.

For real estate developers, the large-scale implementation of 5G technology poses exciting new business opportunities. First, because newer 5G wireless networks use higher spectrum bands, the distance between cell sites must be substantially shorter than with previous wireless technologies. As a result, there will be increased demand for space leasing in buildings for new antennas, especially in urban areas.

Second, because most 5G networks rely on higher-spectrum bands with reduced propagation characteristics, it will be more difficult to receive 5G signals inside buildings. As such, many homeowners are negotiating distributed antenna systems (DAS) agreements with major wireless providers, which offer potential new revenue streams. These DAS agreements allow wireless service companies to install micro-repeaters or nodes inside large buildings and campuses to ensure that their customers continue to receive service. In the future, these systems will serve as a platform for IoT devices to provide a variety of “smart” services, such as environmental detection, remote monitoring for maintenance purposes, and other artificial intelligence applications.

Devices using Spectrum must comply with federal regulations.
This explosion of connected IoT devices will only be possible if the devices do not interfere with each other. Most IoT devices are designed to emit or receive radio frequency (RF) energy to perform their functions. These devices must be designed to operate in accordance with technical regulations to ensure that no unwanted interference is created with their operation. These devices must also be tested before being sold to the public.

In the United States, the FCC has the primary responsibility for developing and implementing these procedures. These procedures include requirements for manufacturers to (i) test their RF devices prior to marketing or sales, (ii) label their RF devices with identifying information, and (iii) provide compliance information in manuals. user or other documents so that consumers know how to do so. to resolve interference issues or contact the manufacturer.

In addition, the FCC has implemented a strict enforcement regime that monitors the market and investigates complaints of interference or non-compliance. In recent years, it has launched industry-wide research on incompatible LED lighting and conducted research in commercial establishments to ensure that products are tested and labeled correctly. With the increasing use of connected devices, these enforcement efforts are likely to improve, as evidenced recently by the proposed increase in the FCC Enforcement Office’s 2023 budget.

As a result, real estate owners and contractors should take steps to confirm that RF devices installed in their locations comply with FCC regulations. The terms and conditions must be included in the contracts to require that all products comply with FCC regulations, and the parties should establish repair and compensation procedures in the event that these conditions are not met.

Some manufacturers are banned from federal grant programs and buildings.
Finally, it is important to note that the FCC has also been tasked with identifying devices that may pose national security issues. In response to the requirements of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019 and the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019, the FCC developed a list of “covered equipment and services” that “They pose an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or to the safety and security of the people of the United States.”

Federal agencies are prohibited from using federal funds to purchase, or grant grants to purchase, equipment or covered services, and the FCC is in the process of implementing a $ 2 billion program to remove and replace existing covered equipment and services. owned by telecom operators. These requirements are also incorporated into the Federal Procurement Regulation (FAR), which requires federal contractors to certify compliance.

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The introduction of innovative technology in construction projects will help differentiate proposals and add new sources of revenue. At the same time, owners and builders responsible for implementing such plans should adopt rigorous due diligence procedures to ensure that products and services comply with federal regulations designed to protect the public from interference and national security concerns.

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