Earlier this month, President Trump and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai held a press conference in the White House affirming the administration's commitment to a fast rollout of advanced wireless networks known as "5G." Among the announcements at the press conference on April 12 was that the FCC will hold the largest spectrum auction in US history to bolster 5G deployment, as well as allocate $20.4 billion to the "Rural Digital Opportunity Fund" fund to increase broadband access in underserved communities.
This press conference is a sign of relief for free-market advocates, as rumors of a plan to nationalize 5G have persisted in the media for years. The Trump administration should be steadfast in its commitment to market principles in the deployment of this next generation technology.
The Leaked Memo
In early 2018, a leaked memo from the National Security Administration called for nationalizing 5G as a means of competing against China. Such security scaremongering has bubbled up every few months since, most recently in a push by Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale and adviser Newt Gingrich. However, a new report by the wireless trade association CTIA suggests that the United States is in a strong position to be a leader in 5G deployment.