Trump first suggested the plan in early 2018, but it met with strong resistance from the FCC, the telecom industry and Congress. The plan was dropped shortly thereafter, and the Air Force official who authored it was removed from the National Security Council and left the White House.
Several rationales have been used to justify the plan, including the alleged need to win the race to 5G over China; establish a national high-speed wireless internet network; provide rural America a breakthrough in quality of life and economic growth; and promote the US economy by building a massive infrastructure just like the buildout of the national highway system in the 1950s.
However, when the main concern regarding China is national security and providing a secure network, promoting 5G as a tool to beat China and address cyberespionage seems counterproductive, as the main problem with wireless networks is, in fact, cybersecurity. Wireless networks can be easily hacked. A better solution is to provide fiber optics to the home.
Fiber optic infrastructure has been deployed in many rural areas across the country and has already been paid for by taxpayers. Nevertheless, in many cases the fiber optic network hasn't been connected to the homes; instead it has been used to connect cell towers.