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FCC chief opposes Trump administration 5G network plan

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has come out against the Trump administration's desire to natio...

Posted: Jan 30, 2018 12:06 AM
Updated: Jan 30, 2018 12:06 AM

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has come out against the Trump administration's desire to nationalize a secure 5G network.

Any 5G plan would require FCC approval, leaving the future of the Trump administration proposal in serious doubt.

A National Security Council official presented senior members of the Trump's administration with information suggesting that the United States needs to centralize its 5G network by the end of President Donald Trump's first term as a safeguard against Chinese cybersecurity and economic threats.

Axios first reported the proposal.

A PowerPoint presentation and memo obtained by Axios argue that a centralized 5G system would be easier to protect from cyberthreats. A White House official, however, said the memo reported by Axios is "dated" and "not representative of the administration's thinking." The official declined to provide further details.

Government control of 5G infrastructure would be unprecedented and highly controversial, as the industry has traditionally been privately controlled.

Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman, opposed the move in a statement Monday, saying "the market, not government, is best positioned to drive innovation and investment."

He added, "Any federal effort to construct a nationalized 5G network would be a costly and counterproductive distraction from the policies we need to help the United States win the 5G future."

All four FCC commissioners also came out in disapproval of the plan on Monday.

AT&T and Verizon, two of the country's largest telecommunications companies, have both announced plans to roll out 5G coverage in the US this year. AT&T told Axios that work to launch 5G service in the United States "is already well down the road."

Fletcher Cook, a spokesman for AT&T, said in a statement that the company "can't comment on something we haven't seen." The Justice Department has sued to block AT&T's purchase of Time Warner, which owns CNN, and a trial has been set for March.

Verizon declined to comment on the Trump administration's potential move.

In the presentation, two options were suggested: have the American government pay for and build a network, or have wireless providers build their own 5G networks. In the first scenario, the government would rent access to carriers like AT&T and Verizon, Axios reported.

The memo called the nationalization of 5G "the 21st century equivalent of the Eisenhower National Highway System." At the time, the interstate highway project was considered one of the most ambitious public works projects in American history.

In a December speech outlining his National Security Strategy, Trump labeled China a "rival power" seeking to "challenge American influence, values and wealth."

When asked about allegations of hacking by Chinese entities and the Axios report Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said "the Chinese government strictly prohibits and severely cracks down on all forms of cyberattacks."

"We think the international community should strengthen dialogues and cooperation to face up to cyber threats and maintain cyber peace and security based on mutual respect and trust," she said.

This story has been updated.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 111322

Reported Deaths: 3202
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7796173
DeSoto670178
Harrison484483
Jackson435081
Rankin383786
Madison373993
Lee344979
Forrest296377
Jones283782
Washington252197
Lafayette242642
Lauderdale2376131
Lamar217138
Bolivar198377
Oktibbeha195854
Neshoba1814111
Lowndes174962
Panola166337
Leflore160787
Sunflower157649
Warren152755
Monroe145972
Pontotoc143819
Pike137256
Lincoln135555
Copiah135036
Marshall134826
Scott123829
Coahoma123436
Grenada120038
Yazoo119333
Simpson118649
Union115225
Holmes113560
Leake113340
Tate113239
Itawamba110424
Pearl River108958
Adams104343
Prentiss102619
Wayne98721
Alcorn96012
George93917
Marion92942
Covington92525
Tippah85921
Newton84427
Chickasaw82625
Winston82221
Tallahatchie81825
Tishomingo79341
Hancock78127
Attala77626
Clarke72349
Clay67621
Jasper67417
Walthall63327
Calhoun61412
Noxubee59617
Smith58316
Claiborne53216
Montgomery52923
Tunica52217
Lawrence49914
Yalobusha49314
Perry48122
Carroll46312
Greene45518
Stone45014
Amite41713
Quitman4146
Humphreys41216
Jefferson Davis39811
Webster36613
Wilkinson33020
Kemper32015
Benton3154
Sharkey27814
Jefferson27010
Franklin2373
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22563372
Mobile14335314
Tuscaloosa10023133
Montgomery9759196
Madison904893
Shelby709960
Lee644966
Baldwin640569
Marshall428248
Calhoun412759
Etowah405749
Morgan396833
Houston364632
DeKalb319628
Elmore310752
St. Clair282142
Limestone270828
Walker268892
Talladega258435
Cullman227623
Lauderdale208740
Autauga201029
Jackson200915
Franklin199731
Colbert192228
Russell19053
Dallas185627
Blount184824
Chilton181731
Escambia171328
Coffee16669
Covington166029
Dale163451
Pike130512
Chambers130143
Tallapoosa128686
Clarke127117
Marion104729
Butler99840
Barbour9889
Marengo97221
Winston90413
Geneva8417
Pickens80517
Lawrence80031
Randolph79814
Bibb79114
Hale74529
Cherokee72214
Clay71912
Lowndes70127
Henry6376
Bullock63517
Monroe6319
Washington62212
Crenshaw59330
Perry5806
Wilcox55912
Conecuh55713
Fayette55312
Cleburne5287
Macon52820
Sumter46721
Lamar4565
Choctaw38712
Greene33916
Coosa1973
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