Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Reported Federal 5G Plan Panned
The wireless industry and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Monday panned the possibility of the U.S. government building its own 5G network. Axios reported a senior official on the National Security Council floated the idea of the federal government building one, secure, centralized 5G network to guard against China, “the dominant malicious actor in the Information Domain,” states the document.
The concept is the government would reportedly rent access to wireless carriers. If so, it would be an unprecedented nationalization of a historically private infrastructure.
Pai said he opposes “any” such proposal, saying, “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.” He called an effort by the government to build its own 5G network “costly” and “counter-productive.” The other four Commissioners opposed the concept. Commissioner Brendan Carr called the idea a “non-starter” while Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said: “I’ve seen lead balloons tried in D.C. before but this is like a balloon made out of a Ford Pinto.” Continue Reading