The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed three bills aimed at upgrading the U.S. telecommunications grid to 5G—including one resolution barring the consideration of nationalizing the industry.
“This legislation looks to be a handout to big telecom, securing a rollout for a technology the industry has long been pushing, and which we do not yet fully understand in terms of potential risks,” journalist Walker Bragman told Common Dreams. “The bill seems to be written in a way that provides assurances to the industry against future government encroachment as well as the possibility of future subsidies.”
H.R. 2881, the Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020, contains a provision limiting the scope of that strategy by disallowing nationalization.
“The Strategy shall not include a recommendation or a proposal to nationalize 5th or future generations wireless communications systems or infrastructure,” the bill’s Section 4, subsection 1 reads.
Introduced by Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), the bill calls for the administration to develop a strategy for 5G implementation across the country. Companion legislation in the Senate was introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).