Trump FCC pick plays down national 5G talk - Mobile World Live

Trump FCC pick plays down national 5G talk

12 NOV 2020

US President Donald Trump’s pick for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) used a congressional hearing to argue against pursuing a nationalised 5G network, questioning the legality and backing a continued free market approach.

Nathan Simington (pictured) stated his support for “the long-standing auction and commercialisation regime that has been legislated by Congress”, committing to stick by the process “unless and until Congress were to radically change direction”.

He downplayed the Department of Defence’s recent interest in spectrum sharing, noting “spectrum is not a network” and “no proposals about building nationalised fibre, backhaul”, or towers had yet been made.

“I’m not sure that the prospects of a so-called nationalised 5G are as real a threat as they are obviously an apparent one…But of course, that doesn’t mean that we should create uncertainty in the market by leaving the issue out there.”

His comments addressed concerns from politicians and the industry about a potential national 5G move.

If confirmed by Congress before the end of Trump’s term in January 2021, Simington will replace outgoing FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, whose nomination for a third term was abruptly withdrawn in August after he clashed with the president.

Trump pushed for Simington’s appointment on Twitter, praising him as a “very smart and qualified individual” and urging Congress to “confirm him to the FCC ASAP”.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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