US president Donald Trump revisited a previous plan to nationalize 5G in the US after it had been previously scrapped in 2018 due to industry backlash.
President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign backtracked on the prospect of 5G wireless technology after it seemed to contradict the White House’s administration policy.
Trump’s admin began to discuss this prospect in January 2018 in an attempt to one-up their main competitor, China.
Politico reported that this plan would ensure the government have full control over the 5G spectrum to create a wholesale market where operators could buy capacity.
“A 5G wholesale market would drive down costs and provide access to millions of Americans who are currently underseved,” said Kayleigh McEnany, national press secretary for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign to Politico on Friday. She added “this is in line with President Trump’s agenda to benefit all Americans, regardless of geography.”
The resurgence of the campaign put it in an unfavorable position with White House administration officials who have been adamant on dropping the original plan of a free market approach after the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC), Ajit Pai’s, criticism against the matter.
5G technology is not yet readily available for the public.
Axios reported that Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, believes that promoting a nationalized system could potentially general more votes from citizens in rural areas who want faster internet.
According to Business Insider, 5G is “next generation, super-fast wireless technology [which] has become a real, tangible thing that people can actually use.. Right now, only a tiny number of eople across a very limited spread of locations have access to 5G. For most of us, 5G is still a mystery, full of tantalizing promise but few details.”
Some members of the Trump administration such as Larry Kuldow, are wary of the nationalization of 5G as it would mean that private companies like Verizon and AT&T would be able to build it out.
Last month, trump expressed his concerns about 5G and its dominance by telling US operators to “step up their efforts” and criticized them for “lagging behind on something that is so obviously the future.”
As an attempt to reiterate his opposition to the prospect of network nationalization, Pai reposted a tweet from January 2018 which stated “The market, not the government, is best-positioned to drive innovation and investment.”
Similarly, some FCC commissioners such as Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr both expressed their opposition to the idea on social media while others even went as far as comparing it as a “China-like nationalization” of 5G networks.
In early February, Trump tweeted:
“I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind.”
“I want the United States to win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies.
“We must always be the leader in everything we do, especially when it comes to the very exciting world of technology!”