USTelecom, NCTA Others Urge Trump to Oppose Nationalized 5G

(Image credit: NCTA)

Cable and telecom broadband operators have joined to tell President Donald Trump not to try and nationalize 5G network infrastructure by inserting the government into the commercial market.

That is according to a copy of a letter being sent to the White House later today from NCTA-the Internet & Television Association, CTIA, USTelecom, CCA, WIA, NTCA and NRECA.

Related: House Democrats Investigate DOD 5G Plans

That letter follows the Department of Defense's efforts to seek either comment or a proposal on a government-private partnership in a 5G network.

"Such an action would be at odds with more than a century of private sector led innovation and investment in communications networks, have a chilling effect on the entire broadband sector, and jeopardize American leadership in the global digital economy," they wrote. 

They make the point that, collectively, they have invested trillions of dollars of private capital to build networks that "power our innovation economy" an insure connectivity for millions. 

By contrast, they argue, "centrally planned infrastructure and nationalized networks have struggled with congestion and poor service." The associations invoked COVID-19 to make their case for private networks. They said their private networks have "met and exceeded" the increased demand and were still investing billions.

Related: Conservative Groups Back GOP Pushback on Nationalized 5G

They also invoked other hot-button topics, including closing the digital divide, which they said a nationalized network would impede, creating "additional obstacles and challenges as we work to connect all Americans, including those who are hardest to reach, with high-speed internet service. They also said it would expose that nationalized network to "greater security risks."

They urged the president to oppose any effort by DOD to nationalize the network.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.