Deputy national security adviser Anne Neuberger (pictured) warned the US risked falling further behind China in the telecommunications sector, which has spurred President Joe Biden’s administration to prioritise telecommunications as a key element for national security and the economy.

During the opening keynote at 6GWorld’s 6GSymposium, Neuberger stated China was a global leader in telecommunications because of large investments in R&D by companies such as Huawei paired with government subsidies.

“China sees the tie between telecommunications as a tech and their national security and economic leadership,” stated Neuberger, whose full title is deputy national security adviser for cyber & emerging tech and deputy assistant to the president. “As we think about our national strategy in the space, there’s domestic aspects to that as well as international aspects.”

She noted an integrated strategy requires investments from the private sector and collaboration with international partners.

Neuberger stated the Biden Administration and the US State Department brought together a group of countries that led to a release of a set of principles for the core elements of 6G. The entities are currently working to refine those principles ahead of releasing them in a more strategic document.

Those initial principles include new methods which share spectrum and use AI to cut down on energy consumption related to the telecommunications technologies of the future.

Reinstating FCC auction authority
Separately, Cohere Technologies’ CEO and chairman Ray Dolan asked Neuberger about the Federal Communications Commission losing its authority to conduct spectrum auctions earlier this year after Congress failed to pass the required legislation.

“I can’t speak to the timing of any congressional action, but what I can say is that reinstating the FCC’s spectrum auction authority is an absolute priority of the administration,” she replied. “We’re working very closely with Congress and the FCC on it, and we absolutely need to reinstate the FCC’s spectrum auction authority.”

The FCC conducted the spectrum auctions over the course of almost 30 years. During that time, Neuberger noted it had completed 100 auctions resulting in the issuance of more than 120,000 licenses and permits while generating $233 billion for the US Treasury.

“In addition to the direct economic benefit from the FCC spectrum auction authorities, we’ve seen how that [spectrum] has underpinned our economy, and it’s also underpinned our national security technologies,” she noted. “Ensuring that we come up with a complimentary way that both addresses the national security needs, and also ensures that we can continue to make spectrum available for the economy, is an absolute priority for the administration.”