A report out of Axios this morning, with the headline “Scoop: Trump team considers nationalizing 5G network” and also echoed by Drudge, is sure to create some buzz for the next few weeks.
The Axios reporters apparently received a leaked copy of the report, which was an internal Powerpoint presentation within the Trump admin. The report outlines, from a national information security vantage point, the pros and cons of such a move by the US Government. The main impetus for nationalization, according to the report, are to mitigate the risks of damaging intrusions into the network from foreign powers, especially China:
China has achieved a dominant position in the manufacture and operation of network infrastructure, China is the dominant malicious actor in the Information Domain
According to the report, the two main options being considered are:
- The U.S. government pays for and builds the single network — which would be an unprecedented nationalization of a historically private infrastructure.
- An alternative plan where wireless providers build their own 5G networks that compete with one another — though the document says the downside is it could take longer and cost more. It argues that one of the “pros” of that plan is that it would cause “less commercial disruption” to the wireless industry than the government building a network.
Update: Ajit Pai says “Not so fast“…
As we recently reported, 5G is much faster than the current 4G system – upwards of 10 times faster than the fastest 4G networks, speed that will definitely be needed as higher density 4K and HDR content becomes widely available. However, perhaps even more impactful than speed, will be the unlimited bandwidth available to wireless users.
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