The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce requests comments by June 25 to inform the development of an Implementation Plan for the National Strategy to Secure 5G.
On March 23, 2020, the President signed into law the Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020 (Act), which requires the development of a strategy to ensure the security of next generation wireless communications systems and infrastructure. The Act further requires the development of an Implementation Plan within 180 days of enactment, and lays out 18 actions to be included in this plan.
On the same day, and in fulfilment of the requirement established by the Act, the Administration published the National Strategy to Secure 5G (Strategy). In so doing, the Administration recognizes both the importance of fifth generation wireless technologies (5G) to the future prosperity and security of the United States, as well as the risks and vulnerabilities posed by malicious actors that will seek to exploit these technologies. The Strategy is focused on four lines of effort: (1) Facilitating domestic 5G rollout; (2) assessing the cybersecurity risks to and identifying core security principles of 5G capabilities and infrastructure; (3) addressing risks to United States economic and national security during development and deployment of 5G infrastructure worldwide; and (4) promoting responsible global development and deployment of secure and reliable 5G infrastructure. (See The National Strategy to Secure 5G of the United States of America, March 2020, at https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/National-Strategy-5G-Final.pdf.
The National Security and National Economic Councils are developing an Implementation Plan, in consultation with relevant departments and agencies, to execute the actions identified to secure 5G infrastructure and development. The Implementation Plan will follow the four lines of effort identified in the Strategy, laying out specific activities to achieve the goals of the Strategy.
Through this Request for Comments, NTIA is seeking public input to inform the development of the Implementation Plan. NTIA is looking for information as to how the U.S. Government can best facilitate the accelerated development and rollout of 5G infrastructure in the United States and with our international partners, and lay the groundwork for innovation beyond 5G. Specifically, NTIA is seeking feedback on the following questions, organized by the four lines of effort laid out by the Strategy. [The notice lays out 19 questions. Several particularly pertinent for consideration by economists are excerpted below.]
Line of Effort One: Facilitate Domestic 5G Rollout
(1) How can the United States (U.S.) Government best facilitate the domestic rollout of 5G technologies and the development of a robust domestic 5G commercial ecosystem (e.g., equipment manufacturers, chip manufacturers, software developers, cloud providers, system integrators, network providers)?
(2) How can the U.S. Government best foster and promote the research, development, testing, and evaluation of new technologies and architectures?
(3) What steps can the U.S. Government take to further motivate the domestic-based 5G commercial ecosystem to increase 5G research, development, and testing?
(4) What areas of research and development should the U.S. Government prioritize to achieve and maintain U.S. leadership in 5G? How can the U.S. Government create an environment that encourages private sector investment in 5G technologies and beyond? If possible, identify specific goals that the U.S. Government should pursue as part of its research, development, and testing strategy.
Line of Effort Three: Address Risks to U.S. Economic and National Security during Development and Deployment of 5G Infrastructure Worldwide
(1) What opportunities does the deployment of 5G networks worldwide create for U.S. companies?
(3) How should the U.S. Government best promote 5G vendor diversity and foster market competition?
Line of Effort Four: Promote Responsible Global Development and Deployment of 5G
(1) How can the U.S. Government best lead the responsible international development and deployment of 5G technology and promote the availability of secure and reliable equipment and services in the market?
(2) How can the U.S. Government best encourage and support U.S. private sector participation in standards development for 5G technologies?
(4) Are there market or other incentives the U.S. Government should promote or foster to encourage international cooperation around secure and trusted 5G infrastructure deployment?