by Countable | 1.29.18
In a powerpoint presentation and memo obtained by Axios, officials at the National Security Council propose nationalizing the emerging, mid-range 5G network in order to protect the U.S. from China and other "bad actors", while staying competitive in the global technology industry.
In the presentation the authors argue that 5G capability will be necessary for everything from self-driving cars to virtual reality to automated farming, and the capability must be protected from China, who is the "dominant malicious actor in the Information Domain."
If nationalized, the memo says the network would be a 21st century equivalent of the national highway system.
The other option outlined would be for existing corporations, who have already invested millions in developing 5G technology, to form a consortium to build the network together. The authors argue that would be unlikely to develop a nationwide, 5G network fast enough to adequately address threats to the U.S. economy and national security.
Ajit Pai, head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as well as the other FCC commissioners, came out on Monday with statements opposing the idea of nationalization. The Hill reports Pai argued for the free market continuing to be the best way to advance innovation:
"The main lesson to draw from the wireless sector’s development over the past three decades — including American leadership in 4G — is that the market, not government, is best positioned to drive innovation and investment."
National carriers, like AT&T and Verizon, have cited the work already underway to build a 5G network in response to news of the memo, which they say they have not seen. An industry executive also commented to the Wall Street Journal that the idea of nationalization runs counter to U.S. history:
"It would fly in the face of basically the entire history of US policy in terms of the private sector and government."
Given the memo’s stated goal of seeing a fully developed 5G network within three years, expect to hear more about this debate over government versus private ownership in the next 6-8 months.
Do you think nationalization is the answer here, or is the free market the better choice?
Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: Pixabay / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable
Holy💩💩💩💩💩this is a joke Who in their right mind would trust this administration with their network 1984 anyone? No no no no no no no no no
I definitely Do Not want this government to ‘protect’ us by building out a government owned 5G network. No thank you to the government and it’s critical shortfall in security tech, tech savvy, tech talent and administrative oversight. And No to this government ‘choosing’ private partners to assist. Can you hear me now. That’s a hard No.
I understand Protection, but I think having the government involved in controlling our communications is a step in the wrong direction. 1st step in controlling a population is controlling communication.
Very bad idea. I’m more concerned with Washington NSA yahoos and tin hat GOP ideologues than the Chinese.
Noooo we don’t need or want all that, big brother needs to slow down.
I don't think the same government that wants to suspend net neutrality should be in charge of 5G. I don't see them ensuring access for all or any sort of privacy control.
This better be a joke. The government to build and control the 5G network? They can’t even maintain the interstate road system.
Yeah, I want the government to have unlimited access to everything WiFi or cellular said NO FOUNDING FATHER ever.
Can I have a camera in the Oval Office?
All great inventions from this country has come without government involvement. Keep the government out, regulations and taxes low and then sit back and watch the private sector innovate.
Removing the friction (regulations, taxes) from the private sector so they can create 5g is the way to go. If you want to accelerate then provide incentives which are paid back via growth.
Oh hell no!!! Who the hell going to protect us from the government, more importantly this idiotic administration?!? Their excuse is protecting us from China?!? WTF?!?!
Is this much different than the government owning certain MgHz on the radio spectrum?
Nothing should be nationalized. Nothing! The government has no business in usurping a network. It isn’t for security but for the opportunity it will give the Reps to infiltrate political enemies, to spy on others. This is purely political. Let the private tech businesses continue to address network security issues. The government is too intent on dividing the country and creating methods to attack us and others to be trusted. The federal government can not be trusted with this. If we think losing an open internet is bad, this would create a big brother is watching climate in which the govt nefariously could control any aspect of our lives.
This is especially tough because of trump and his cabinet. Ironically, as a 'social democrat", I am always for our government (which is,by the way, a collective of the people when used correctly) helping and protecting us. For example: Social Security, Medicare and yes...regulations that put breaks on free market indulgences. But THIS administration is the government I do truly fear. I don't believe they have an ounce of democratic government in their hearts so to give them the overseeing of an entire 5G network sounds like a very dangerous idea. My thought is that this should in no way be a quick decision. It probably should not happen at all but most certainly not under trump. How about really educating Americans to think and learn before they believe every last thing they read or see on the internet or TV. That is our ultimate protection.
If it were President Sanders wanting to nationalize something, that would make sense. For the Trump administration to promote nationalizing 5G, something is up…
This administration didn’t believe Russia hacked. They believe we are too secure to be hacked. If this is true, why nationalize? Why put all our electronic eggs in one basket? Nope. No Skynet here. Trump Networks need to keep their pudgy little orange fingers out of our communications.
My knee jerk reaction is: if Ajit Pai doesn't like it, then his corporate masters in telecoms don't like it, and it is probably good. However, considering the federal government's recent history of privacy violations, I have some major apprehension about them having complete control over our communication infrastructure.
This is why you don’t give free reign to an Administration who only wishes to consolidate authority under a single agency (DHS) and an authoritarian Executive. Now that he has paid off industry with lower Corporate Taxes and removal of Net Neutrality he is going to appropriate the parts of the economy that serve his nefarious interests. If you haven’t heeded the warnings listen to them now; absolute power corrupts, absolutely! Information is power and this Executive favors no other form of Government that does not swear loyalty to him alone.