Top Democrats and Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prioritize the security aspects of next-generation wireless networks known as 5G.
In a Thursday letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the bipartisan group of lawmakers voiced their concerns over the security of 5G at a time when broadband is being built out nationwide to support future networks.
“The ubiquitous deployment of broadband, including next generation technologies such as 5G, is a priority as we work to ensure every American has access to affordable, reliable, and high-speed internet,” the committee leaders wrote. “As our U.S. network operators, from the largest to the smallest, gear up for significant infrastructure buildout for 5G and other advanced technologies, security should be a critical consideration and associated rules and regulations should be as clear as possible.”
The letter was signed by Committee Chairman (D-N.J.), ranking member (R-Ore.), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman (D-Pa.) and that subpanel’s top Republican, Rep. Bob Latta (Ohio).
The committee leaders noted that they believe the agency is “well-positioned” to address the 5G security issue, particularly securing the supply chain for equipment and software involved in communications networks.
“We believe that policymakers and industry alike would benefit greatly from a thoughtful, careful consideration of these important issues,” the lawmakers wrote, adding that they hope the agency takes the matter into consideration when selecting members for a newly chartered panel known as the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council.
The FCC said last month that the council will focus on areas including national security and emergency preparedness, next-generation 911, and the reliability of communications systems and infrastructure.
The FCC on Wednesday closed the nominating period for the council. Members will each serve two-year terms.
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Bipartisan lawmakers call on FCC to prioritize 5G security
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