Trump administration reportedly wants to nationalize US 5G network

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With the collapse of a deal that would have seen AT&T carry a flagship Huawei phone for the first time ever, it seems that President Donald Trump’s administration may desire to pull more strings in the US wireless industry.

Axios has obtained documents from the National Security Council that have circulated to other agencies proposing that the government centralize the up and coming 5G network footprints. While the details of ownership and construction duties are being debated, the currently favored option supposedly has the government building and owning a “Secure 5G” network from the ground up.

A centralized cellular network, a source says, will be important to defend against Chinese interference — Chinese telecom equipment makers Huawei and ZTE have been investigated for breaches of sanctions and for acting on behalf of the Chinese government.

The documents state that “China has achieved a dominant position in the manufacture and operation of network infrastructure” and that it is “the dominant malicious actor in the Information Domain.” The country is currently told to be a leader in the “algorithm battles” in artificial intelligence.

Read the full documents by hitting the source link below this story.

An old proposal sees the government building the network and then renting out access to carriers, though it’s inferred that a revised draft could have the government sell direct to consumers. It will supersede the current private-federal relationship of licensing certain bandwidths to networks where upon they carry out infrastructure and service to consumers with their own monies. There may be further stipulations laying down a federally-mandated workflow for site construction and maintenance that would go above any local or state laws — the rules would be authorized under the pretense of national security. Implementation would occur in under three years.

For a Republican administration, one of the recent chips against free market capitalism and for extending government powers has been designating threats to national security. Digital threats like ransomware and vulnerabilities have either affected or been shown to be devastating for major information systems in the healthcare sector, the power grid and other crucial pressure points. North Korea has also been deemed a rising cybersecurity threat.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.