US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: Preparing the United States for the 5G Future

Preparing the United States for the 5G Future
By Sen. John Thune

The internet has been a part of our daily lives for quite a while now: Netflix. Twitter. Amazon. But the internet has taken on new importance during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s become the main source of connection with friends and family. It’s enabled many people to work from home to help reduce the spread of the virus. It’s the main reason schools and colleges have been able to continue teaching students. And it’s drastically expanded nascent services like telehealth, which has allowed doctors and other medical professionals to provide patient care remotely.

With all of this new internet traffic, of course, has come a much greater load on networks. And not all countries’ networks have held up to the strain. In Europe, networks have had to slow streaming and ask providers like Netflix to diminish the quality of their videos. But here in the United States, our networks have faced very few problems. And there’s a reason for that. Europe and the United States have very different regulatory regimes for the internet.

In Europe, the internet has been regulated using outdated communications rules designed for telephone monopolies. The regulatory situation in the United States, on the other hand, has been much different. With a few exceptions, like the brief imposition of so-called net neutrality regulations in 2015, our country has taken a light-touch approach to internet regulation. This has encouraged companies to invest in the latest communications infrastructure and new technologies to make more efficient use of spectrum. And thanks to that investment, when coronavirus hit and internet usage soared, American networks were ready.

Despite the additional burden on networks during the pandemic, Americans have been able to enjoy the same high speeds and streaming quality that they typically enjoy.

Right now, most Americans are using 4G networks. But the next generation of internet – 5G – is here, and 5G networks are starting to be deployed, including in South Dakota. But if we want the United States to handle 5G the way we’ve handled 4G – if we want our 5G networks to be as successful as our 4G networks – we still have some work to do.

One thing that is absolutely essential is maintaining the light-touch regulatory approach that has produced so much U.S. investment and innovation. While 4G relies on traditional cell phone towers, 5G technology will also require small antennas called “small cells” that can often be attached to existing infrastructure like utility poles or buildings. Last year, I introduced legislation – the STREAMLINE Act – to make it easier for companies to deploy these small cells so we can get the infrastructure in place for 5G technology.

Second, the United States still has more work to do to free up the spectrum – what we commonly call the airwaves – that is necessary for 5G. In 2018, Congress passed my MOBILE NOW Act, which helped lay the groundwork for freeing up more mid-band spectrum. And this past November, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and I introduced the 5G Spectrum Act to require the Federal Communications Commission to free up a critical portion of mid-band spectrum, commonly referred to as the C-band, for 5G use.

Finally, we need to ensure that we have the workforce in place to handle the demands of installing and maintaining 5G technology. That’s why earlier this year I introduced the Telecommunications Skilled Workforce Act. My bill would help increase the number of workers enrolled in 5G training programs and identify ways to grow the telecommunications workforce to meet the demands of 5G.

The coronavirus has shown us the results of robust investment in 4G infrastructure and spectrum – strong networks that can handle even a steep surge in internet traffic. We need to make sure that we’re putting in the necessary work and investment to ensure that our 5G networks are just as strong. The 5G future is here. Let’s make sure that the United States is ready.


5 Replies to “US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: Preparing the United States for the 5G Future”

  1. John Dale

    If Senator Thune is wrong about 5G and I am right ..

    We have nearly 300,000 Indian Green Card applications in the US for H1B, many of which are the best jobs on the planet – software engineering jobs – and you’re rolling out this surveillance state capitalist model?

    Clearing up some misconceptions:

    5G does not cause corona virus. It is a weapon that can do any number of terrible things to the human body. It’s a loaded gun on every street corner, the trigger for which could be pulled from anywhere.

    It is a surveillance tool that can telemetry-ize the inside of buildings.

    It is not as fast as fiber.

    The Smart Cities Initiative is a globalist Frankenstein meant to take away American freedoms.

    Senator Thune, what exactly do you think you are doing, here?

    Seems very RINO-ish.

    Why don’t you work to remove indemnity from wireless and pharma to project the people of SD from their negligence and overeagerness to deploy products that nobody but them really want (creating demand for 5G through MSM NLP when there are better alternatives is socialist/communist).

    Who is driving the Thune bus, anyway? Can the South Dakota Republican Party put up a better candidate in two years?

    If so, I’ll be paying very close attention and eager to support a Senator who doesn’t throw SD farmers, ranchers, and municipal/county citizens to the 5G wolves.

    On this issue, Senator Thune is a wolf in Sheep’s clothing.



    1. El Rayo X

      John, 5G can be neutralized by building an electrolysis radio wave generator. Start by putting an equal amount of brass and steel ball bearings in a mason jar, add a copper scratch pad and fill with a plant (not petroleum) based oil. Exrta virgin olive works the best but canola or corn oil work too. Do not fill to the very top, the oil can’t touch the metal lid. Add one teaspoon of baking soda (not baking powder), seal the lid and gently agitate until the baking soda dissipates. Basically, it’s a battery without terminals. It sends out a radio signal instead of electricity. This electrolysis generator will disrupt 5G signal in a 15 foot radius for about a month. The jar can be reused but the components need to be replaced. Four or five of these generators placed throughout your home should keep you safe.

      1. grudznick

        Good advice. I am having a tough time finding enough of the brass ball bearings. Will copper BBs work instead?

    2. Anonymous

      John Dale build a Faraday Cage around you’re house to block the effects and mind control signals of 5G. A Faraday suit will be more challenging especially with the ability to be mobile but I am confident you will find a way.


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