While nearly everyone uses internet and smartphones, many people are not familiar with 5G network technology and how it works.
It is so important to future economic growth that the United States government at one point considered undercutting private companies that are looking into building 5G networks in order to build its own grid as soon as possible. While the White House has dismissed reports that it is considering constructing a national 5G network, the issue is not entirely off the table as it still remains an option among many.
A 5G network is expected to be the backbone of future technologies such as driverless cars and virtual reality. Given this fact, it is imperative that it will not only work properly at all times but also be impervious to threats from malicious third parties.
Many experts openly worry about the possibility of China hacking into an unsecure 5G system but the truth is that China is not the only entity that would be interested in wreaking havoc with an unsecure 5G grid. Cybercriminals from nations the world over would certainly attempt to hack such a network if it were not properly secured and the only way to efficiently secure such a network is to have a single, centralized network rather than one that has been built by a patchwork of individual companies.
Another reason why the U.S. Government is showing an interest in building its own 5G network is that it could potentially export the technology for building such a network to its allies and not only turn a profit from doing so but also protect allies from enemy nations.
President Trump’s interest in a national 5G network was evident at the end of last year when he included secure 5G internet capability as part of his National Security Strategy and there is nothing to indicate that his interest in this field had diminished. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why the U.S. Government is no longer considering the nationalization of the 5G grid as its primary option is the fact that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is vehemently opposed to such a move. While Pai is one of President Trump’s appointees, it is no secret that he comes from a corporate background and has always been against government involvement in the private sector.
The construction of a national 5G grid would naturally have its pros and cons. If security is the most important issue then building a national network would likely be the ideal option. Furthermore, the government may be able to build a 5G network faster than a consortium of private enterprises all working against each other to construct portions of a 5G network. However, there are various aspects of the issue that need to be considered.
Government construction would cause more commercial disruption than private construction. Additionally, a number of wireless service providers have already invested heavily in a future 5G network, including T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T. While it remains to be seen how much of the 3550-3700 MHz spectrum these and other, similar companies will be able to purchase in order to build a 5G network, the fact remains that they have a head start in this field and may be able to build a national network quicker and more efficiently than a government entity.
At present, the idea of building a national 5G network appears to be off the table as the immense amount of blowback generated from the idea has lead the Trump administration to table the idea. However, there is no guarantee that the United States government would not consider it again at some point in the near or even distant future.
While the implications of building a national 5G network are huge, the implications of leaving the construction of such a network to private companies are also hard to ignore. In any case, the potential project plays an imperative role in the future of the United States, so citizens across the country should hope that those who build and manage it have the capabilities and motivation to do so in a manner that benefits rather than hinders economic progress.
~ Liberty Planet