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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 John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote 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 ThunePence won't preside over Barrett's final confirmation vote Gaffes put spotlight on Meadows at tough time for Trump White House getting pushback on possible government-owned 5G network 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 BarrassoSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Hillicon Valley: Senate panel votes to subpoena Big Tech executives | Amazon says over 19,000 workers tested positive for COVID-19 | Democrats demand DHS release report warning of election interference GOP senators call on Trump to oppose nationalizing 5G MORE (Wyo.), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoGOP power shift emerges with Trump, McConnell Bill to expand support for community addiction treatment passes House Hillicon Valley: Senate panel votes to subpoena Big Tech executives | Amazon says over 19,000 workers tested positive for COVID-19 | Democrats demand DHS release report warning of election interference MORE (W.Va.), John CornynJohn CornynTrump leads Biden in Texas by 4 points: poll President Trump: To know him is to 'No' him Dallas Morning News poll shows Biden leading Trump in Texas MORE (Texas), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonDemocrat announces 2022 bid for Ron Johnson's seat Senators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day MORE (Wis.), and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Bipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning Trump's new interest in water resources — why now? 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.