Entrepreneurs and Small Business Oppose 5G Nationalization

By at 15 October, 2020, 12:08 pm



Washington, D.C. – The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) is joining a broad array of voices to express alarm about the Department of Defense’s hurried foray into nationalizing America’s advanced 5G networks. SBE Council has joined a coalition of organizations in voicing opposition to the nationalization of 5G, and is urging the Administration to prevent the DoD’s attempt.

“There is nothing smart or strategic about government nationalization of America’s 5G networks, which are being built and deployed by the private sector. As noted by Senator Thune in a letter to President Trump and signed by nearly 20 of his colleagues, the concentration of 5G management offers an efficient and easy target for the bad guys to take down or disrupt America’s wireless networks.

“Beyond this poorly thought out move, entrepreneurs know that federal government management of 5G will lead to slower rollout, less innovation, higher costs and poor quality networks. America’s private sector has executed beautifully in developing and deploying each new generation of communications technologies, which has been transformational for small businesses and consumers alike.  5G nationalization is a bad idea that will erode U.S. competitiveness and leadership in advanced communications technologies,” said SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan.

SBE Council signed a coalition letter to Senator John Thune (R-SD), which lists the key concerns that taxpayer and free-market advocacy organizations have with 5G nationalization, including: the potential waste of billions of taxpayer dollars, the mixed policy message being sent by the Administration on private investment and innovation, how DoD’s efforts will nationalize private business, how this model has failed in other countries, the fact that our nation’s spectrum does not belong to the military, and that nationalization upends and undermines the successful collaborative approach that has enabled $2 trillion of private-sector investment in network infrastructure.

In a blog post titled “The Race to Nationalize 5G Must Be Stopped,” Kerrigan writes:

“America’s private sector and private-led investment have created and built the world’s best networks and infrastructure, as evidenced by U.S. innovative leadership and the capacity of our networks to meet extraordinarily high demand during COVID-19. The U.S. experience stands in stark contrast to the rest of the world, to wit: Europe’s “creaking internet,” as described in a recent Bloomberg piece. So, this lurch to nationalize 5G is both suspect and risky. It undermines positive 5G momentum, not to mention the billions of investment dollars that have already been expended on 5G development and deployment by the private sector.”

She adds:

“The long-standing collaborative approach between the federal government and private industry, light-touch regulation, along with forward-thinking and energetic Federal Communications Commission (FCC) leadership have all worked together to keep the investment flowing and new innovations emerging.

Especially during COVID-19, where faster, reliable and resilient networks are more important than ever, the Administration and policymakers must reward and further enable what’s working and what’s needed for a strong recovery and universal access to broadband. That means more pro-investment policies and support to accelerate the privately-led development and deployment of 5G.

It’s time to let the idea of nationalizing 5G die, and for good.”


CONTACT: Karen Kerrigan,

SBE Council is nonpartisan advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For 25 years, SBE Council has worked on and advanced a range of private sector and public policy initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for strong startup activity and small business growth. Visit for additional information. Twitter: @SBECouncil

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