Begin Main Content Area

News

Pennsylvania to Rent Space to Wireless Providers, Generate Revenue for the Commonwealth

October 29, 2019

Harrisburg, PAPennsylvania is seeking to rent extra space on commonwealth-owned communications towers, land and assets to third-party wireless providers at fair market value, Department of General Services Secretary Curt Topper announced today. 

“We realize the revenue-generating opportunity the commonwealth has in renting extra space on communications towers and assets to third-party wireless providers,” Topper said. “In addition to creating a revenue stream, we have the opportunity to contribute to more accessible and reliable wireless coverage across the Commonwealth.”

The department created the Office of Enterprise Wireless Management to oversee the initiative and entered into a 20-year contract with Agile Network Builders LLC to serve as its wireless-asset manager. Under the contract, Agile will analyze the commonwealth’s wireless assets, market them for rental opportunities and determine the fair-market pricing for the assets.

In some cases, Agile will identify opportunities where the construction of a new tower on commonwealth-owned land is appropriate within the specific set of requirements under the contract. Over the 20-year contract, the commonwealth will earn an estimated $100 million.

“Our decision to use the services of a wireless asset manager was based on the technical expertise needed to ensure this initiative was done properly,” Topper noted. “We’ve taken a close look at similar asset-manager models used by New York, Florida, California, and Ohio and believe our approach will put us in the best position to make this effort a success.”

In addition to current wireless offerings, Topper also noted that the commonwealth is poised to be in on the ground floor of the cellular industry’s adoption of Fifth Generation, or “5G” technology. Based on studies, the adoption of 5G will likely prompt the installation of over 25,000 small cell devices across Pennsylvania. This new market segment has a robust projected total value and Commonwealth-owned assets will have the opportunity to attract a sizable portion of this investment based on the strategic partnership with Agile Network Builders.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Troy Thompson, DGS, 717-787-3197