The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has hit out at plans by the US government to ‘nationalise’ a secure 5G network in an effort to safeguard against Chinese cybersecurity and economic threats. The leaked National Security Council memo – which was reportedly presented to senior members of the Trump administration for consideration – called the nationalisation of 5G ‘the 21st century equivalent of the Eisenhower National Highway System’, which was considered one of the most ambitious public works projects in American history.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai responded to the report with the following statement: ‘I oppose any proposal for the federal government to build and operate a nationwide 5G network. 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. What government can and should do is to push spectrum into the commercial marketplace and set rules that encourage the private sector to develop and deploy next-generation infrastructure. Any federal effort to construct a nationalized 5G network would be a costly and counterproductive distraction from the policies we need to help the United States win the 5G future.’