The U.S. doesn’t have a comprehensive strategy for 5G security, according to Jessica Rosenworcel, one of five Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioners.
“We don’t have a comprehensive effort,” she said. “We need one.”
On Friday (Nov. 22), the FCC is expected to vote on whether to stop federal subsidy funds to be spent on Huawei equipment. But the Commerce Department recently made it possible for some firms to do business with the company.
“Now, these issues are complicated, but it does not seem to me that the right hand is always talking to the left,” Rosenworcel said.
Recently, 15 senators wrote to President Donald Trump, asking him to take “immediate action to suspend the approval” of companies working with Huawei.
If the licenses are allowed to move forward, they said, it would allow “Huawei to continue to pose a serious threat to U.S. telecommunications infrastructure and national security more broadly.”
Rosenworcel said there should be more caution and action, and the country is “heading into this digital 5G future with something less than a fully coordinated effort. And I’m afraid that what we’re doing this week just sort of reflects that.”
She said there needs to be “a lot more planning from the top.”
FCC spokeswoman Tina Pelkey had a different take.
“The United States government is demonstrating strong and coordinated leadership on 5G security,” she said. “This administration and FCC are doing far more to protect our nation’s communications networks from the threats posed by companies like Huawei than the prior administration and FCC.”
Rosenworcel said the letter proves that lawmakers are worried about the future of the technology, and the potential security issues that come along with it.
“I think the United States is resting on its 4G laurels,” Rosenworcel said. “But I don’t think that that success in the past, means we will be successful in the future. We need an all hands effort across the administration and the economy, and I just don’t see evidence of that.”