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Trump campaigners still talking about nationalized 5G network

By Jules Wang March 4, 2019, 9:15 pm

Last year, one national security adviser was circulating a report around the White House that made the case for the government to nationalize its 5G network — or to build and own the next-gen cellular grid which networks would lease access to. The biggest concern at the time was hardening the country’s cybersecurity and blocking out vendors that were perceived would present vulnerabilities like Huwaei and ZTE.

Voices from the industry, the FCC and other advisers quickly tamped down any prospect of a further campaign, saying that companies would continue to lead the way.

However, President Donald Trump may make a national 5G network one of its planks in its campaign platform as he seeks re-election in 2020. POLITICO reports that the move is seen as a draw card for rural voters who have long wanted fast broadband speeds.

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“A 5G wholesale market would drive down costs and provide access to millions of Americans who are currently underserved,” said Kayleigh McEnany, national press secretary for Trump’s campaign.

The re-election campaign — backed by PayPal founder and Trump backer Peter Thiel and an associated startup called Rivada Networks — pits itself against staunch opponents in the current administration, including Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

Criticism was laid heavily over the weekend, leading McEnany to release a new statement on Sunday saying that there “is no daylight between the White House and the campaign.”

Still, with proceeding developments in the trade and diplomatic strains between the US and China, it may be important to watch this space.

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