Pentagon Shouldn’t Build Government-Owned 5G Network

More than ever, our nation depends on reliable, fast, and affordable broadband internet services. While broadband deployment hasn’t typically received a lot of media attention, it is something that American households are now acutely aware of, with many families trying to figure out how to work and school from home. That’s why taxpayers should be concerned that last month the Pentagon indicated that it might take steps to control and operate bands of wireless spectrum that it has previously agreed to auction off to commercial entities. It would be disastrous if the Department of Defense moved forward with a plan to own and operate a domestic 5G network. 

Thankfully, Senator John Thune (R-SD) led a group of 19 GOP senators who are calling on the White House to reject any efforts that would allow the federal government more control of the next wave of telecommunication infrastructure.

As the senators noted in their letter:

“Nationalizing 5G and experimenting with untested models for 5G deployment is not the way the United States will win the 5G race.  While we recognize the need for secure communications networks for our military, we are concerned that such a proposal threatens our national security.  When bad actors only need to penetrate one network, they have a greater likelihood of disrupting the United States’ communications services.”

This is a chance for the administration to demonstrate its commitment to free market principles by committing to a competitive and open marketplace for spectrum, one that allows the private sector to innovate free of government regulation. Winning the global 5G race has national security and economic consequences and now more than ever the Trump Administration needs to send a strong signal that under its leadership, America is in it to win it.