The steps toward 5G cell service could find its way to Wichita Falls thanks in part to a change in state law but at a cost.

Senate Bill 1004 was written to allow major cell network providers such as Verizon and AT&T to add additional small cell nodes in cities to help alleviate service gaps that can lead to dropped calls and lost data connections and to help facilitate the introduction of 5G service. However, under the new bill, cities are capped at a fee of $250 per year per node in a public right of way.

The fee cap will result in millions in lost revenue, particularly in cities like Dallas, where fees would have run as high as $2,500 per node under agreements with the cell carriers. According to KXAN, analysis by the Texas Municipal Leagues shows municipal governments would lose $750 million per year once 5G is available across Texas.

SB 1004 went into effect on September 1st.