Smart ideas: Just say no to duck boats and government 5G
Joe Kane, writing for the R Street Institute
A bipartisan bill from Sens. Ted Cruz and Catherine Cortez Masto that would prevent the government from creating a nationalized broadband network without congressional approval deserves praise. The United States has decades of experience with government-supported, uncompetitive communications networks. For example, the AT&T telephone monopoly granted and protected by the government for most of the 20th century was characterized by high costs and slow innovation. This, of course, stands in stark contrast to the rapid innovation and growth that resulted when less-regulated mobile networks began to compete. The major private carriers have already invested billions into 5G and are preparing to spend an additional $275 billion , money that would be wasted if the government swooped in and turned the free market upside down. Security is another concern, since the government does not exactly have a stellar record on cybersecurity. There is no reason to think that a nationalized 5G network would actually be more secure than those built and run by the private sector.