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FCC announces $20 billion for rural broadband providers, schedules third 5G auction

14 April 2019

"We want to get this program stood up as soon as we can, because we recognize the need to close that digital divide in rural America", Pai told reporters on a Friday morning conference call.

The agency said he will talk about these 5G initiatives at a White House event with President Donald Trump later Friday.

These frequencies are advertised to offer speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G, but with limited range.

President Donald Trump said the US will cut regulations and free up spectrum for 5G technology amid tight competition with China and other nations to develop the next generation of telecommunications infrastructure.

We believe that the security and reliability of 5G is absolutely important, not just as a matter of national competitiveness, but also as a matter of national security, [.] I have been very encouraged by my conversations with European allies [.] about the importance of security and 5G networks.

"The White House has yet to offer a workable plan for US leadership", Rosenworcel said.

But the FCC unveiled a plan to provide Dollars 20.4 billion in the coming decade to connect up to 4 million rural homes and small businesses to high-speed internet.

One challenge is the lack of US manufacturers of 5G network equipment, an arena where China's Huawei and ZTE are set to dominate.

"I draw the lesson from the development of the wireless industry over the past three decades, including USA leadership in 4G".

Huawei has repeatedly denied it poses a risk, even as USA officials say the Shenzhen-based company may be obligated by law to cooperate with Chinese security services.

Strayer and other officials have warned that Huawei and ZTE could give China's intelligence services secret access to sensitive communications networks and the ability to send commands to disrupt communications.

FILE - Attendees take pictures of the new Huawei Mate X foldable 5G smartphone during the Mobile World Congress wireless show, in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 25, 2019.

Amid concerns over Huawei's links to the Chinese government, the FCC is mulling regulations to block the firm from networks in the US.

"In the United States our approach is private sector driven and private sector led", said President Trump.

Trump said the 5G industry in the United States would be "private sector-driven and private sector-led", so the USA government does not have to spend lots of money. Since November 2018, the FCC has auctioned 1,550 megahertz of spectrum for use by commercial wireless providers.

Before the event, the FCC met about opening up spectrum for 5G. Pai said consideration is "ongoing" without offering a deadline for a decision.

FCC announces $20 billion for rural broadband providers, schedules third 5G auction