U.S. Government 'Considering' Creation of Nationwide 5G Network [Updated]

The United States federal government is said to be looking to build a centralized 5G wireless network across the country within three years, according to a sensitive PowerPoint presentation and a memo obtained by Axios.

The documents said that the Trump administration is considering a federal "takeover" of a portion of the country's mobile network to "guard against China" and hopes to finalize the details before September.

Today telecommunications companies like AT&T build their own systems using their own equipment and lease airwaves from the government, but now the U.S. is reportedly looking into paying for and building a 5G network and would "rent access to carriers." The plans were said to have been recently presented to senior officials in the administration, and if agreed upon by September will see a rollout over the next three years.
Trump national security officials are considering an unprecedented federal takeover of a portion of the nation’s mobile network to guard against China, according to sensitive documents obtained by Axios.

The PowerPoint presentation says that the U.S. has to build superfast 5G wireless technology quickly because “China has achieved a dominant position in the manufacture and operation of network infrastructure,” and “China is the dominant malicious actor in the Information Domain.” To illustrate the current state of U.S. wireless networks, the PowerPoint uses a picture of a medieval walled city, compared to a future represented by a photo of lower Manhattan.
The government is trying to accelerate development of a 5G network as a way to defend against China, and hopes to create a "new paradigm" for the wireless industry before the end of President Trump's current term. Although the documents are said to be focused on "Chinese threats to America's economic and cyber security," they also mention that a nationwide 5G network would help foster emerging technologies like self-driving cars and virtual reality. According to one administration official speaking to Bloomberg, the "takeover" terminology is "not part of the administration's thinking."

Outside of this news, most of the major U.S. mobile carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile have already begun their move towards true 5G networks. AT&T most recently said it plans to launch a mobile 5G network in a dozen cities by the end of 2018, while Sprint mentioned its own wide-scale 5G network will launch by 2019, and T-Mobile is aiming for nationwide 5G coverage by 2020. The first iPhone that could support 5G is believed to be coming through a partnership between Apple and Intel.

Update: FCC chairman Ajit Pai released a statement opposing the creation of a government-run 5G network, shared by The Verge.
“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.”

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: 5G


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15 months ago
Anyone else concerned over privacy issues here if this were to happen?
Rating: 31 Votes
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15 months ago
The government that can't unlock an iPhone is going to build a 5G network. Brilliant.
Rating: 22 Votes
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15 months ago
...yet Republicans will continue to campaign on a “promise” of a smaller, less intrusive government. Trump voters will believe them.
Rating: 17 Votes
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15 months ago
This administration has been superbly incompetent thus far besides brute forcing a justice that they stole from the previous administration. Nothing will get done in three years, and by 2020 we’ll be under new management.
Rating: 15 Votes
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15 months ago

Anyone else concerned over privacy issues here if this were to happen?

Absolutely. Although it’s not as if we have privacy from the government on any other network.
Rating: 14 Votes
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15 months ago
I would think many liberals would love this because it brings us one step closer to nationalizing industries and communication services. They will claim it takes profiteering out of services and lowers costs. Some also claim we need to do this to electricity as well. The idea of nationalizing industries is one of the pillars of socialism. It's funny that Trump is touting it. I’m not in favor of this at all for many reasons, but I’d think it would get support from many on the left.
Rating: 11 Votes
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15 months ago

Anyone else concerned over privacy issues here if this were to happen?


not at all - why should anybody concerned that the government can easily access, monitor and control any cellular traffic without going to uncooperative companies to get the data? WiFi is next on the list. Only government installed routers will be allowed. And while we are at it: it is unacceptable that some companies build secure cell phones that the government can't access - only government issued devices should be allowed - maybe easy access to the cell phone could be a requirement to get access to the new 5G network?




/s
Rating: 11 Votes
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15 months ago
On first glance, it looks like a handout to the telecom industry.
Rating: 9 Votes
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15 months ago
It's a somewhat (understatement) complicated issue.

On the one hand, the case can be made that too much competition in the US cellular market has led to spotty performance and higher prices. There is a great deal of duplication of communications infrastructure from competing companies in markets, and a relative paucity of infrastructure in lower populated areas. In Europe most mobile carriers are required to lease capacity to their competitors, so you don't end up with multiple cellular towers. That is one reason mobile phone plans, as a rule, are much cheaper in Western Europe than they are in the US.

On the other hand, the redundancy of multiple networks we have in the US gives the overall system a resilience to attack and natural disaster most other countries don't have.

A truly efficient 5G nationwide network would be a tremendous boon to consumers and businesses here in the US. The difficulty will be in the execution.
Rating: 7 Votes
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15 months ago

Anyone else concerned over privacy issues here if this were to happen?

Uh hell yes.
Rating: 6 Votes
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