Will Trump Nationalize America’s 5G Network?
Surprising news was announced from a leaked PowerPoint deck and a memo from a senior National Security Council official. The information obtained announced the Trump administration is considering a plan to nationalize the United States’ upcoming 5G wireless network, in an effort to guard against cyber security threats from China.
This announcement came from the website Axios who reportedly obtained the sensitive documents. The memo states that America needs a centralized nationwide 5G network within three years and presents two options:
- The US government pays for and builds the single network. The only way to build an entire 5G network in three years would be for the US government to nationalize the existing telecom companies. To start from scratch without nationalizing companies would take at least ten years. US carriers have been building out their network for over two decades and they are still building new sites.
- The other option would be for the existing wireless providers to build their own 5G network. This plan is already in the pipeline for existing US carriers, however, it is on their own time table. As a result, this would take longer and it would unlikely be accomplished within three years.
If time is of the essence, then option 2 is off the table. That leaves the Trump administration with the idea of nationalization.
How Does The Head of The FCC Feel About This?
Former Verizon in-house legal counsel and current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is obviously not in favor. His tweet from yesterday echoes the GOP position on the issue, however, it is interesting this idea was presented by a Republican Administration in the first place. It would be no surprise if the idea came from Bernie Sanders, but from a Republican Administration?
What Is The Feasibility Of The Idea?
I was watching Fast Money on CNBC yesterday and a talking head said there is a “zero point zero chance this happens”. I have to agree with the notion that it is highly unlikely that Trump will build a nationwide 5G network – and especially within three years’ time.