- UPDATE: After numerous news published online, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai responded, “I oppose any proposal for the federal government to build and operate a nationwide 5G network.” See the full text below:
While the entire world eagerly awaits the 5G network, the American government is planning ahead for nationwide protection. In the aim to protect its digital infrastructure, the United States National Security Council rolled out a proposal for making the 5G network singular for the entire country. This might keep the leading carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon off the race to provide 5G, not by any market rival but the White House.
The major aim of the government is to protect the country from foreign security threats and to keep up with the wireless network development in China. The proposal does benefit the carriers in terms of the 5G rollout, but the concerns include the aspects of the way being time-consuming and expensive.
Given that the 5G connectivity is nationalized, the carriers will be able to charge for providing the network access while competing on other angles of the services. As per reports received so far, the carriers have mixed reactions to the proposal. T-Mobile favors the nationalization of the network for taking advantage out of the ‘level playing field.’ This means that the carriers would be charging the same for access, although there is no guarantee.
The proposal is more like an informative rollout of the idea than a detailed action plan. There is a summary based on speculations regarding the cost and the method of deployment given in the document. Further ideas put forward are prioritizing the rural communities for a predicted ‘revenue stream,’ and new layers of ‘air and space’ for remote locations and emergency reserves.
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The NSC body terms the document as ‘Massive Internet of Things,’ noting down the facilities provided by the 5G network. But it does not give anything on how much the cost for consumers could be.
The document further expresses the government’s ‘fixation’ on China and clearly states the Asian country as a competitor. It as well defines them as the ‘dominant malicious actor in the Information Domain.’ Interestingly, it does not mention Russia given the recent-past happenings in the last election.
The contrasting phrase adds to the mix: “telecommunications manufacturers have all but disappeared.” This is supported by the preferences of Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE as the only makers of radios for avoiding a foreseeable declination.
All said and done, it is likely to be a farfetched idea for now. Firstly, the government will remain responsible to the core in terms of consistent precise service offering, which is a big shoe to fill. Then, Republicans wouldn’t want anything to be nationalized, and Democrats wouldn’t want to give more power over the general mass to the House. Lastly, the Federal Communications Commission is the one representative government branch overseeing 5G network offering, and it would likely to remain dissident to the idea if the carriers won’t support the nationalization idea.
That’s a lot of no-no in one basket for the White House proposal! Watch out as Donald Trump might consider blowing it up to keep China close and battle Russia away (all clouds of speculations though)!