America’s recovery from Covid-19 is bigger than politics.

America’s recovery from Covid-19 is bigger than politics. It is perhaps more important than ever for lawmakers to put aside their preexisting agendas and work toward innovative solutions. Being the first country to deploy the fifth generation of wireless technology, also known as 5G, would mean creating 22 million jobs, generating over $13 trillion in global economic output, and strengthening our national security. If we want to realize all of these benefits, establish ourselves as the worldwide leader in 5G and boost our economic recovery from Covid-19, we need to beat China.

In order to begin building the 5G infrastructure necessary for deployment, communications companies need access to a digital spectrum known as the C-band. The C-band has the right balance of coverage and capacity to facilitate 5G adoption through urban, suburban, and rural America. The satellite companies currently occupying the C-band need to transfer their rights to the communications companies that will be delivering 5G services.

Since 2015, China has outspent the U.S. by about $24 billion in 5G infrastructure and built approximately 12 times more 5G base stations. China has also been pouring billions into subsidies to Huawei, their largest telecommunications company, to corner the 5G market and undercut their competitors. The U.S. was falling behind and desperately needed to act. Fortunately, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai was able to compromise and propose a solution.

Today, a Senate subcommittee is holding a hearing on Chairman Pai’s solution – an auction of the C-band that would take place this year. This includes incentive payments for satellite companies to quickly transition off of the spectrum so that America can get to work on beating China. These companies have invested $50 billion in the C-band over the last 40 years. Thanks to their efforts in building the spectrum’s value, the auction is projected to generate upwards of $60 billion in proceeds. Without the cooperation and clearing efforts of the satellite companies, the 5G spectrum would not be made available for at least 10 years – putting us too far behind China to win the 5G race and stripping America of much needed revenue.

Building the network infrastructure necessary to support 5G in the U.S. would drive $275 billion in private sector U.S. investment, spurring $500 billion in economic growth. This is a valuable opportunity, and America can’t afford to allow partisan politics to get in the way. The race to 5G will impact all of America for years to come, ensure our long-term national security, and generate jobs and economic growth when we need it most – but only if we execute Chairman Pai’s plan this year and make up for lost time.

About 5G Action Now

5G Action Now was founded to establish the United States as the worldwide leader in 5G. Our goal is to elevate the conversation regarding American national security and the economic benefits of winning the 5G innovation and deployment battle against China. 5G will spur economic growth in rural America, create an environment for technological expansion, and put the U.S. on strong national security footing for generations to come.

5G Action Now supports the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) goal of a 2020 C-band auction. Additionally, we support Members of Congress of both parties working together with the federal government to win the 5G race against China.

About Mike Rogers

Mike Rogers is the former Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and now serves as the Chairman of 5G Action Now.

In Congress, Chairman Rogers worked with two presidents, Congressional leadership, foreign leaders, diplomats, and intelligence professionals, and oversaw the Intelligence Community’s $70 billion budget that funded the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies. Before being elected to represent Michigan in the House of Representatives, he was an FBI special agent and member of the U.S. Army.

Today, he hosts the CNN Original Series Declassified, regularly appears on various TV and radio shows, and frequently contributes to major print outlets. He is also a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center where he is leading a program on 5G, national security, and intelligence policy.