U.S. Looks At Nationalizing 5G, Says Report; FCC Opposes

The federal government is looking at taking over part of the nation’s mobile network, according to a published report, which the FCC head today opposed.

Documents purport to say that the U.S. needs a centralized 5G network within three years, according to the original report in Axios.

The speed of a 5G mobile network would allow the download of a two-hour video in under four seconds, according to a recent presentation by the Consumer Technology Association.

One of the promises of the higher-speed network is the increasing amount of data that could give a significant boost to the Internet of Things.

The Axios report suggests there are two options mentioned in the document -- that the U.S. government pays for and builds the 5G network or wireless providers build their own.

AT&T has announced that it will begin to deploy 5G in the U.S. later this year.

The internal memo argues that the government should build a network itself, according to the report, which quotes another source, which says that a newer version of the memo says it is neutral on whether or not the government builds and owns the network.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai released a statement today strongly opposing the idea.

“I oppose any proposal for the federal government to build and operate a nationwide 5G network,” Pai stated. “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.”

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