Is Trump Really Considering Nationalizing 5G?

January 29th, 2018 by · 4 Comments

There are some days one really wonders if one is still aleep when reading the headlines on Monday morning. According to a report on Axios that is quickly making the rounds on the major news channels, the Trump Administration is considering nationalizing parts of the nascent 5G network infrastructure that providers have been starting to put together.

Now this isn't a tweet, it's supposedly a PowerPoint deck and a memo from the National Security Council that was supposedly presented to the administration. So it isn't actually an active proposal, it's more of a proposed proposal. And it's one that seems highly doubtful to pass muster.

The argument is simple: without a centralized, national 5G network we will be helpless against China and other bad hacker-infested foreign influences. Therefore, either the US government could pay for and build the network (yeah, they said that) or wireless providers do it as a consortium, and then would rent access to it.

It looks to me as if this is coming from the guys who are worried that the more complex our infrastructure gets, the more endpoints it has and the more dependent we are on it, the less possible it will be to spy on it as the NSA is said to be doing currently. After all, if the government runs the network, they don't have to ask AT&T, Verizon, and the others and get a judge to agree they need it when they want to know something.

Because if there's anyone who can build our networks and keep them safe, functional, and innovative, it's a Trump appointee. Maybe China will pay for it too. I'm sorry, it's a serious topic that is hard to take seriously in this context. It really is.

On the other hand, if it has legs then the coalition that arises against the idea will be pretty interesting.  There will be some new bedfellows to be sure.

Categories: Government Regulations · Wireless

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4 Comments So Far


  • Bob Miller says:

    Beltwa lobbyist like Jeff Eisenach who works for a big DC lobby shop funded by Verizon et al are probably behind this. He placed Ajit Pai into FCC (Trump Advisory team) for Verizon as well. VZ and T can’t afford to fund the buildout of 5G so they are trying to get Government to do it just like Firstnet and other Gov funding. Amazing ATT and VZ can fund so many other things like advertising on stadiums, private jets etc. Corporate Cronyism, Regulatory Capture at its finest.

  • John Danko says:

    AT&T, Verizon, government…same thing right? Firstnet?

  • Sylvain Salvarelli says:

    The powerpoint looks weird. Nothing close to an official report.
    Strange.

  • Anonymous says:

    Bad idea! Obama couldn’t even sell guns to Mexican drug cartels correctly… how is Trump going to figure out a business model for this? but yeh, it will likely be cronyism like Solyndra and I agree Big Red and Big Orange are looking for a tax payer helping hand to build out 5G and NSA gets free warrantless access for it…. that all sounds about right.

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