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Syracuse could be poised to be a national leader in 5G technology thanks to the federal infrastructure bill

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Chris Bolt/WAER News
Senator Schumer gets a tour of the under-construction JMA Wireless manufacturing facility on Syracuse's South Side. He says $billions in broadband spending in the federal Infrastructure Act could pay huge dividends to the business, the only maker of 5-G components in the nation.

Syracuse could be one of the big winners economically from the recent Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, largely because of one business. Senator Chuck Schumer was in town Monday to explain how investments in better internet access will almost certainly be a boon for the region. He spoke at JMA Wireless and says the infrastructure act will include massive spending on 5G technology. It also includes a provision to buy components from U.S. companies, and JMA is right now the only American manufacturer of 5G products.

“We’ve always been looking for industries that we can not only benefit from, but really excel in, and can grow and grow.  Well, 5G is growing.  And all this money, and the fact that we are not going to buy it from overseas anymore, means this can make Syracuse the 5G capital of the whole United States.”

Schumer brought with him to Syracuse the Deputy Secretary of Commerce. Don Graves’ office is responsible for allocating more than $60 billion in broadband funding, and agrees much of that could be spent here.

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Chris Bolt/WAER News
Deputy US Commerce Secretary Don Graves visited Syracuse to point out possibilities for economic development that could come from the federal Infrastructure Act and another bill, the US Innovation and Competition Act that could bring semiconductor manufacturing here.

Graves says next up is for Congress to pass the Innovation and Competition Act that will boost a related industry.

“Specifically, our production of microchips that power our automobiles, that power our advance medical equipment, that are in your cell phones.  I can’t stress to folks just how important it is that we pass USICA legislation for our domestic semiconductor production and will establish a national semiconductor technology center.”

And Central New York is among a select few communities being considered for a huge microchip manufacturing center that would bring still more jobs.

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.