Friday, June 08, 2018

The United States Should Not Nationalize 5G

On Tuesday, Brad Parscale, President Trump's Campaign Manager for his 2020 reelection campaign, tweeted in favor of a nationalized 5G network:

FSF scholars have contended that the most efficient way to deploy a nationwide broadband network is through facilities-based competition, where multiple providers are building infrastructure and offering next-generation broadband services over the last mile. With facilities-based competition, providers constantly are competing to upgrade their networks and to deploy broadband in underserved areas. With a nationalized 5G network, even if multiple providers are offering services, consumers would be stuck with a failing broadband network because there is no incentive for providers to invest in technological improvements when they do not own the network.

In January 2018, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced his opposition to a nationalized 5G network:

I oppose any proposal for the federal government to build and operate a nationwide 5G network. The main lesson to draw from the wireless sector’s development over the past three decades—including American leadership in 4G—is that the market, not government, is best positioned to drive innovation and investment. What government can and should do is to push spectrum into the commercial marketplace and set rules that encourage the private sector to develop and deploy next-generation infrastructure. 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.