WISPA Warns Against Government O&O 5G

(Image credit: Dong Wenjie via Getty Images)

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) said the Department of Defense should definitely not insert that government into the private sector's role in 5G by nationalizing a 5G network.

DOD has asked for comment on government partnering with the private sector to secure the next generation of wireless internet access, which will be the conduit for an internet of things (IoT) world that will connect myriad systems from the power grid to medical devices to toasters.

Related: USTA, NCTA Oppose Nationalized 5G

WISPA said it is fine with looking at innovative ways to share spectrum between federal and nonfederal users, which it said could help close the rural digital divide, but says that the government should definitely not "pursue any approach that substitutes central government planning for a market-driven wireless infrastructure approach that has served millions of American consumers well for decades.

"The federal government does not need to own or even directly operate commercial networks, but can utilize “private networks” and can operate isolated networks within networks in which the control, security, and operational aspects of the network function as if they are entirely under the government's control," it said. "In addition, a model in which DoD leases spectrum under a revenue-sharing arrangement would tend to disfavor small providers that cannot provide DoD with sufficient scale."

Related: House Democrats Investigate DOD 5G Plans

WISPA associates itself with a letter from 19 senators that says “nationalizing 5G and experimenting with untested models for 5G deployment is not the way the United States will win the 5G race.” 

WISPA argues that such an approach, though meant to protect the network, would actually raise its own security concerns.

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.