Winning the 5G Race Requires Taking Action

Nobody said winning the race to 5G was going to be easy. Since 2015, China has outspent the U.S. by roughly $24 billion on wireless communications infrastructure, which is necessary to deploy 5G across the country. As a result, at one point in 2017, China built more 5G base stations in a three-month span than we did in three years. Fortunately, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai understands that making up for this lost time requires decisive, immediate action.

Chairman Pai proposed a plan to auction off the C-band – the digital spectrum with the capacity to deploy 5G across the country – by the end of this year. This plan involves $9.7 billion in “acceleration payments” to the satellite companies currently occupying the C-band. These payments are dependent on the satellite companies meeting certain deadlines, and subsequently serve as an incentive for these companies to rapidly clear the band. Chairman Pai’s proposed incentive payments will also increase the auction’s revenue, generating more money for the taxpayer. This plan is essential to getting to a national 5G network, and it was necessary certainly necessary to overcome entrenched resistance.

Meanwhile, some lawmakers are doing what some lawmakers do; they are criticizing it. A recent story appeared in POLITICO, highlighting some of this opposition to Chairman Pai and his C-band auction plan. The truth is leaders lead, and that’s what Chairman Pai did when he took immediate action. He is trying to stop a future that is economically and technologically dominated by China on a global scale.

The U.S. cannot afford to waste any more time in the race to 5G, and we now have a plan to move forward. We may not have been first off the starting block, but this race is far from over. We can deploy 5G nationwide, unleash American business, and beat China through American ingenuity and innovation. Chairman Pai’s C-band auction is a critical part of the plan to beat China in the global race to 5G and ensure America’s national security and economic future – it’s time to start executing this plan, not politicizing it.

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.