US: Senators urge White House to appoint 5G coordinator

Citing a lack of “coherent national strategy,” a bipartisan coalition of senators is pressing the Trump administration to create a new White House position to coordinate policy on 5G wireless technology, reported the Wall Street Journal. 

In a Tuesday, November 19,  letter to Robert O’Brien, President Trump’s national security adviser, the Republican and Democratic leadership of four Senate committees called for the designation of a “senior individual focused solely on coordinating and leading the nation’s effort to develop and deploy future telecommunications technologies.” The eight senators wrote that the role was vital to preventing the US from falling behind on deploying the technology—seen as an economic and national security threat—while signaling to allies the seriousness of the administration’s commitment to the issue.

“While we appreciate the progress being made within and across departments and agencies, we are concerned that their respective approaches are not informed by a coherent national strategy,” the senators wrote in the letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “In our view, the current national level approach to 5G comprises of a dispersed coalition of common concern, rather than a coordinated, interagency activity.”

The administration’s effort to encourage cutting-edge networks has advanced in fits and starts. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai in May said he would back the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint contingent on corporate commitments to speed up new 5G construction.

Full Content: Wall Street Journal

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