White House National Security Team May Nationalize 5G Network

30 January, 2018, 01:03 | Author: Julio Duncan
  • White House National Security Team May Nationalize 5G Network

Their second option is to hire wireless providers to build the first 5G network that will offer service without interruption and a secure digital platform (free of Chinese interference and spying) for United States companies.

"We will improve America's digital infrastructure by deploying a secure 5G internet capability nationwide", Trump said.

The memo noted that the proposal to nationalize a 5G network only covers one part of the airwaves; there'd be other spaces where private companies could build.

A presentation recently made by a senior National Security Council official to senior administration officials was first obtained and reported on by news site Axios. The document, designating Beijing as "the dominant malicious actor in the Information domain", argues that such actions would also contribute to protecting United States economic and cyber security from China's threats.

"The existence of the plan means the current plans of the incumbent carriers to invest in next generation networks have to be reconsidered to consider the risk of government activity in space", added Levin.

Instead, Pai said the US government should make wireless airwaves, known as spectrum, more available for commercial carriers like AT&T and Verizon to deploy 5G networks.

"We doubt these ideas will advance for a variety of reasons, including spectrum constraints, private sector investment and the availability of other security measures", Height said Monday.

Verizon and AT&T already have 5G trials operating, with initial deployment beginning this year and continuing in the months ahead.

The documents suggest that allowing carriers to continue building toward 5G networks would take longer and cost more - an untenable option given China's "dominant position in the manufacture and operation of network infrastructure" and its potential threats to national security. It would then rent access to carriers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. The proposal also goes against numerous principles laid out by the current FCC chair, Ajit Pai, who has been a vigorous advocate of a "light-touch" approach to networks where the federal government backs off from subsidizing and regulating internet service providers.

The reasoning behind a government-sponsored initiative: to spur development of needed telecommunications equipment and make it easier to deploy the networks across cities and states, according to the proposal. It is not clear if the government would have sufficient spectrum to build a 5G network of its own.

The documents reportedly go on to say that a model for government-controlled 5G infrastructure could be exported to other countries that are USA allies to guard against Chinese interference.

A leading trade group, with members including AT&T and Verizon, pushed back on the plans saying it sees a competitive marketplace as the best option for ensuring USA leadership in 5G technology. The reason for this is quite simple; the US government does not want foreign countries to compromise the security of these networks, which at this point is China.

Another Republican on the FCC, Mike O'Rielly, said the leaked proposal was "nonsensical" and did not represent what was happening in the marketplace.


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