The White House demands answers about 5G in new memorandum

The White House demands answers about 5G in new memorandum

The White House issued a memorandum today asking for a strategy around 5G deployment. The memorandum asks the relevant authorities to submit a report on the “status of existing efforts” to work on the technology.

Executive branch departments would need to inform the White House within 180 days about their “future spectrum requirements.” The Office of Science and Technology Policy should report about how emerging tech, such as smart home gadgets, could affect demand for spectrum and how the government should allocate research and development spending to improve 5G efforts.

Within 270 days, these branches and agencies would have to deliver a “long-term National Spectrum Strategy” to the White House that outlines some of these 5G systems and how they will improve the US’s global competitiveness compared to other countries.

It’s essentially a very broad request you might find in a college student’s thesis paper. The FCC meanwhile has been working on 5G all this time, so it’s pretty late in the game for the White House to be coming in with questions.

The FCC provided a neutral statement to The Verge: “We support the President’s spectrum memorandum and applaud his strong commitment to American leadership in 5G. The FCC will continue to work aggressively to push more spectrum into the commercial marketplace, including through our 28 GHz spectrum auction which will commence in November.”

But on Twitter, and in statements to media, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has expressed how behind the White House request is.


The White House announced that late next year it will have a new national spectrum policy. But other nations are moving ahead while we’re headed to study hall–and in the interim we’re slapping big tariffs on 5G networks. This doesn’t speed our 5G leadership–it slows us down.

— Jessica Rosenworcel (@JRosenworcel) October 25, 2018

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