By Peter Roff

News Herald – May 1, 2020

After the coronavirus crisis ends, an enterprising business student could make quite a name for themselves by looking at the role the U.S. telecommunications industry played in helping Americans through the pandemic. It’s quite a story and it needs to be told.

Consider where we’d be if it weren’t for the phone, cable and satellite companies keeping us connected. The rapid migration online included everything from the classroom to the doctor’s office, demonstrating America’s resilience and resourcefulness. The Internet is where we’re going to see our families, order vital supplies, stay up to date on the latest advisories, and remain plugged into civilization.

It’s a good thing the Internet is an American product, governed largely by American ideals. If, say, the Chinese were in charge, the official response to the crisis might have restricted access to the web or shut it down completely.

However, in the face of this threat, mobile devices will also play just as important a role as the networks that connect them. Because the vast majority are manufactured elsewhere, it will be up to the U.S. International Trade Commission to preserve access to mobile devices and smartphones other than those offered by Chinese companies.

Whether the ‘Net remains free and open depends on many factors. The People’s Republic of China has an unfair advantage in the global race to 5G as it has, through its Huawei subsidiary, developed technologies it is trying to force the rest of the world to adopt. And if they end up dominant, it would be a clear and present danger to the future of global commerce and the free flow of information.

To read the full column here.

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.