Scott Wallsten: “Hey, we might need that wall… to stop Mexico’s state-run 5G network” (The Hill)
The Trump administration’s infrastructure plan brings Republicans and Democrats together. This flash of bipartisanship establishes something of a streak. The administration’s infrastructure proposal for a government-designed wireless network, leaked from the White House two weeks ago, was quickly denounced by those on both sides of the aisle. But the mobile technology gambit deserves a bit more explanation. The idea floated was considerably worse than commonly understood. To promote the coming wave of ultra-fast 5G (fifth-generation) technology and to counter Chinese rivals, the plan contends the government should seize the “commanding heights” of the mobile market by setting aside airwaves for a state-managed carrier. This operator, the report argued, would support U.S. innovation, expand U.S. consumer choice and improve American cybersecurity. The means to these admirable ends were dubious and dangerous. A contemplated pivot away from market competition — the product of a longstanding consensus that dispatched the old, staid Ma Bell monopoly with an array of robust networks, devices and mobile app ecosystems — reached back into the dustbin of history, reprising methods that long stymied progress. And it undercut claims that Washington seeks to avoid micromanagement of the economy.
Read More (new window) at The Hill.