A member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warned a provision in a pending budget bill calling for the Department of Defence (DoD) to develop its own spectrum strategies could harm US mobile leadership.
The Senate appropriations committee recently advanced a draft defence spending bill for 2020 which recommends the allocation of $436 million for the development of 5G technologies. However, the proposal also calls for the DoD to determine “whether and how to share sub-6[GHz] spectrum” it currently uses.
In a tweet, FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly (pictured) argued the provision would “undermine decades of sound policy, jeopardise all commercial wireless allocations” and erode traditional oversight by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
Politico reported a handful of politicians expressed similar concerns, with Senator Ted Cruz calling for the provision to be excluded from the final bill.
5G in focus
The fight for control over spectrum resources comes as US government agencies increasingly focus on next generation technologies.
In August, Under Secretary of Defence for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin said 5G had become a “major initiative” for the DoD.
A report issued by the Senate committee noted 5G will enable the DoD to deploy new technologies, including hypersonic weapons and defence systems.
However, it added the technology could present “serious risks if the US does not lead the field in 5G infrastructure and systems, and instead must rely on foreign components embedded throughout the 5G network”.