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GOP senators call on Trump to oppose nationalizing 5G

GOP senators call on Trump to oppose nationalizing 5G
© Greg Nash

A group of 19 senators is calling on President TrumpDonald TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports MORE to bolster private-sector deployment of 5G, expressing concerns about a request for information from the administration that they felt contradicted a free-market strategy.

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneMcConnell keeps GOP guessing on Trump impeachment Yellen champions big spending at confirmation hearing This week: Tensions running high in Trump's final days MORE (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet, led a letter to Trump on Wednesday following a recent request for information (RFI) released by the Pentagon regarding 5G. 

“Rather than rely on private industry and market forces to foster multiple, facilities-based 5G networks, the RFI seeks information on a government-managed process for 5G networks,” the senators wrote. “Nationalizing 5G and experimenting with untested models for 5G deployment is not the way the United States will win the 5G race.”

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GOP Sens. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoMcConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Georgia keeps Senate agenda in limbo Spending bill aims to reduce emissions, spur energy development MORE (Wyo.), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoMcConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time GOP senator: Trump rhetoric on election fraud 'certainly not helpful' in Georgia Senate GOP opposition grows to objecting to Electoral College results MORE (W.Va.), John CornynJohn CornynMcConnell keeps GOP guessing on Trump impeachment Schumer: Trump should not be eligible to run for office again Harris to resign from Senate seat on Monday MORE (Texas), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senators call for commission to investigate Capitol attack Wisconsin Democrats make ad buy calling on Johnson to resign Efforts to secure elections likely to gain ground in Democrat-controlled Congress MORE (Wis.), and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioJustice Dept. closes insider trading case against Burr without charges Author Ryan Girdusky: Ivanka Trump to face challenges in potential Senate run against Rubio Former Trump intel chief Coats introduces Biden nominee Haines at hearing MORE (Fla.), among others, also signed the letter.

The Defense Department issued the RFI on Sept. 18 from industry, seeking insight into accelerating spectrum sharing and 5G deployment.

“While we recognize the need for secure communications networks for our military, we are concerned that such a proposal threatens our national security.  When bad actors only need to penetrate one network, they have a greater likelihood of disrupting the United States’ communications services,” they wrote. 

The senators also urged Trump in the letter to remain on a free-market path to enable the U.S. to win the global 5G race. 

The Federal Communications Commission said this month it will approve use of mid-band spectrum solely for 5G, although the Pentagon said in August that mid-band spectrum will be available for 5G “by the end of the summer.” 

The Defense Department has several locations for 5G testing and experimentation.

“DoD recognizes that industry is driving 5G technology with massive investments in the many hundreds of billions of dollars. Because of that, DoD is working closely with industry partners to leverage those investments for military applications,” DoD official Joseph Evans said at a press conference in June.