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Security

Trump's big 5G plan still MIA

The Trump administration said it is still working on a cohesive plan for 5G, and expects to publish the plan by the end of October.

The news was included in a new report on 5G by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), which provides evaluation and investigative services for Congress. The GAO assessed the federal government's efforts to deploy 5G technology and found that the strategy "partially addresses some, but not all," of the necessary items of a cohesive strategy.

In its report, the GAO said it reviewed a range of relevant government policies including the National Cyber Strategy, the Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020 and President Trump's own "National Strategy to Secure 5G of the United States of America,"issued in March, and that it also interviewed officials in agencies ranging from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

The GAO said it assessed the federal government's work in 5G across a number of general areas, including the scope of the work, how it's being organized and how it's being implemented. The GAO found that the government's efforts in 5G "partially address" most aspects of the issue, but that the government hasn't addressed anything related to "results, investments and risk management."

"Specifically, the strategy does not explicitly discuss what it will cost and does not include any cost estimates either for achieving individual goals or for implementing the strategy as a whole," the GAO wrote of the government's overall efforts in 5G.

The Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020 passed by Congress and signed by Trump requires the president to submit "an implementation plan to the 5G national strategy" by Sept. 23, 2020.

"NTIA officials told us that the implementation plan to the 5G national strategy would be finalized by the end of October 2020," the GAO wrote in its report. "However, the officials we spoke to were unable to provide details on the final content of the implementation plan."

This isn't the first time the Trump administration has specifically attempted to create a cohesive strategy around next-generation wireless communications. As highlighted by a lengthy Politico article earlier this year, Trump signed a presidential memorandum calling for the creation of a new national strategy for 5G spectrum by July 2019. Now, more than a year later, it remains unfulfilled.

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Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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