Trump Campaign Backs Off Government Built 5G

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President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign team downplayed remarks backing a government-built nationwide 5G network after facing pushback from telecom industry representatives and the FCC.

The proposal would see the government design a system in which federal spectrum would be shared with a company. That company would use that spectrum to build a 5G network that carriers would pay to access, reported Politico.

Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement Friday, the concept would, “drive down costs and provide access to millions of Americans who are currently underserved.” On Sunday, the campaign backed off the concept, and said the idea was the personal opinion of Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale.  

“The White House sets the policy on 5G and all issues,” McEnany said in a new statement. “Naturally, the campaign fully supports the President’s priorities and his policy agenda. There is no daylight between the White House and the campaign.”

The idea of a wholesale network is being pushed by Rivada Networks, a politically connected wireless company backed by venture capitalist and Trump ally Peter Thiel, according to Politico.

The Consumer Technology Association’s Michael Petricone said there’s “no need” for more “government control” to win the global race for 5G deployment.

“Turning heel on this successful, free market approach through China-like nationalization is a non-starter,” said FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr on Sunday. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai re-tweeted a statement from January, saying he opposes a proposal for the federal government to build and operate a 5G network. “The market, not the government, is best positioned to drive innovation and investment.”  Comments? Email Us.

March 5, 2019

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