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Sens. Cruz, Cortez Masto Pen Letter Raising Concerns Over Plans to Nationalize 5G Networks

‘We stand ready to work with your Administration to develop free market proposals that enhance competition and protect our economic and national security interests’

February 12, 2018

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202-228-7561

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) sent the following letter to Gary Cohn, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Jr., Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, regarding recent reports of the Administration’s plans to nationalize 5G networks. 

“… it is imperative to our national and economic security that 5G networks in the United States are safe and secure by utilizing dynamic network security to ensure maximum protection,” the senators wrote. “U.S. wireless carriers currently see billions of security incidents each day and have experience in responding to these ever-evolving cyber threats. We believe that the private sector is best equipped to build, deploy and secure 5G networks, and that any proposals that consider nationalizing these networks will only have a chilling effect on private investment and result in a radical shift in the management of our nation’s telecommunication’s networks.”

The letter may be viewed here and below: 

February 9, 2018

Mr. Gary Cohn
Director, U.S. National Economic Council
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

The Honorable Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Jr.
Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. Cohn and Lt. Gen. McMaster,

There are few issues in Congress that have the ability to bridge the partisan divide and unite both Republicans and Democrats. One such issue that is receiving broad bipartisan support is 5G- fifth generation mobile technology- that not only has the potential to create millions of new jobs but may serve as the key to unlocking new breakthroughs across vital sectors of the American economy. That is why we are writing you today to request information on the Administration’s effort to help facilitate the timely and efficient deployment of 5G technology in coordination with the private sector.

Congress’s hopeful optimism in 5G has been further substantiated by a January 2017 Accenture report titled Smart Cities: How 5G Can Help Municipalities Become Vibrant Smart Cities that found, “[t]his next-generation of wireless technology is expected to create 3 million new jobs and boost annual GDP by $500 billion, driven by a projected $275 billion investment from telecom operators.” It’s worth noting that of the $275 billion investment, Accenture expects $93 billion to be spent on construction, which will put hardworking Americans to work as we expand our nation’s mobile broadband infrastructure. 

Deploying 5G networks is also vital to America’s global competitiveness. The United States has been the global leader in mobile broadband since surpassing Japan in 2009 by securing the highest number of 3G subscribers. Since then we have maintained our global first-place position throughout the deployment of 4G networks but are now being challenged by China, the European Union, Japan, South Korea and others in the hyper-competitive race to 5G. Having a global competitive advantage in mobile broadband has spurred domestic economic growth, ensured that investment in entrepreneurial innovation has remained in the United States and is why we can’t come up short in this global race.

If the United States is to maintain its global leadership in mobile broadband both Congress and the federal government will need to ensure that a new pipeline of spectrum is made available and it will also require our state and local governments and wireless industry to work collaboratively as 5G networks will involve the deployment of 10 to 100 times more antenna locations than 3G and 4G networks. 

Furthermore, it is imperative to our national and economic security that 5G networks in the United States are safe and secure by utilizing dynamic network security to ensure maximum protection. U.S. wireless carriers currently see billions of security incidents each day and have experience in responding to these ever-evolving cyber threats. We believe that the private sector is best equipped to build, deploy and secure 5G networks, and that any proposals that consider nationalizing these networks will only have a chilling effect on private investment and result in a radical shift in the management of our nation’s telecommunication’s networks. 

The United States has set itself apart by having a telecommunications sector with robust competition that results in greater consumer choice. As your Administration considers ways to ensure that the United States wins the global race to 5G, we stand ready to work with your Administration to develop free market proposals that enhance competition and protect our economic and national security interests. Please provide us a more complete picture of what you are planning, and can do, to help us all reach the goal of a more connected and safer world.

Sincerely,

Ted Cruz                                             Catherine Cortez Masto
United States Senator                        United States Senator

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