Rumors can sometimes surface and then be quashed with an incredible amount of speed, and today, the best example we have of that kind of turnaround involves the future of the country’s 5G networks. Over the weekend, rumors claiming that the National Security Council was considering building a nationalized 5G network began to surface. Now, the Trump administration has officially chimed in, putting those rumors to bed.
According to Recode, it turns out that the documents that claimed such a network was being considered were old and outdated. Recode spoke to multiple White House officials who claim as much, noting that the possibility of launching a nationwide 5G network was merely floated by one NSC staff member.
In other words, this isn’t something that’s been seriously considered by the NSC or the Trump administration, at least not at the time that rumor began to appear. Even if the National Security Council ultimately decided to recommend a nationalized 5G network to the president, there would be one major roadblock: the FCC. As FCC Chairman Ajit Pai made clear this morning, he doesn’t support such a move.
In fact, Pai says that our existing 4G networks are proof that the market and the carriers that operate within it are better suited to usher in the 5G era than government ever would be. Still, the fact that such a network was even suggested shows that the National Security Council is indeed worried about cybersecurity threats from other countries.
So, if a nationwide 5G network funded by the government was ever seriously considered – something that seems doubtful to begin with – it no longer is. For now, it looks like we’ll have to rely on the nation’s carriers to build out their 5G networks. A number of them have already started making promises about the arrival of mobile 5G, so hopefully the wait we have ahead of us won’t be a long one.