Reuters also quotes a "senior administration official" as "confirming the gist" of the report, and that the option was being debated at a low level in the government and was "six to eight months away from being considered by the president himself".
Axios claimed it has seen documents that revealed security officials stating that the US needs a centralized nationwide 5G network "to protect America against China and other bad actors".
In a PowerPoint presentation and memo obtained by news website Axios, two options were suggested.
The advantage of tasking wireless carriers with building out their 5G networks is that it would cause "less commercial disruption" to the wireless industry at large, versus having the government do it.
There isn't any confirmation about whether 5G network nationalization would further the net neutrality agenda or whether or not the government would have more access and control to what users are doing over it. Developments are expected in this regard in the coming days.
Such a network, the presentation argues, is like the "21st century equivalent of the Eisenhower National Highway System", which was a federally funded, 35-year project that connected disparate parts of the U.S.by almost 48,000 miles of interstate highways.
The national security team of the White House administration is considering its options to counter a threat of spying by China on USA phone calls.
This month AT&T was forced to scrap a plan to offer its customers handsets built by China's Huawei after some members of Congress lobbied against the idea with federal regulators, sources told Reuters.
During 2012, ZTE Corp. and Huawei were subjects of an investigation by US regulators into whether the equipment they made provided an opportunity for espionage by a foreign state and threatened critical infrastructure in the U.S.
"We have to have a secure network that doesn't allow bad actors to get in". In addition, the government must make sure the Chinese are not taking over the market and putting out of business every non-5G network. Billions of dollars have been spent by large wireless carriers for buying spectrums so 5G networks could be launched but one cannot say whether U.S government possess enough field to build its very own 5G network.
Building its own network of super-fast communications would allow the government to try and avoid the threat of China spying on USA phone calls. The process for setting 5G standards is also well underway, all around the world.
He declined to comment on the memo directly. For example, the U.S. government recently ordered AT&T to cut ties with Chinese mobile phone maker Huawei. Axios reports (after a review of documents produced by a senior NSA official) that Trump's team is weighing the drastic move to guard against China as a threat, from both cybersecurity and economic standpoints. "Simply the need for a secure network".
However, Axios also reported that a source familiar with the document's drafting told the news outlet that it was an "old" draft, and a newer version of the document is neutral about whether the USA government should build and own such a network.
Private companies like Verizon and AT&T have always built and operated wireless infrastructure in the past. A concerted government push could help the USA compete on that front, according to the presentation.