White House nuclear expert Gen. Robert S. Spalding II and Steve Bannon's guy Peter Navarro shocked D.C. with a serious plan to build a national 5G network in 400 MHz of 3.5 GHz spectrum.
Even "progressive" Democrats like Jessica Rosenworcel and Colin Crowell immediately asserted the government building a 5G would be a mistake. Conservatives like Pai were vehement in their objections. A government-built 5G network is politically impossible even if the plan were a good one.
WTF is going on? Spalding and Navarro are hardline Chinaphobes. The illustration of the knife through the United States is from Navarro's Death By China. I suspect these guys think Nixon made a mistake recognizing China in 1973.
5G higher frequencies don't have the same reach so it's probably right to build only one or two networks.
The 4-7 networks required for competition to likely work well will be prohibitively expensive. One network is cheaper than 2; 2 are cheaper than 4. A large block of spectrum produces 30%-100% more capacity than the same spectrum split five ways. (I have articles coming with more depth on that.)
The Brits are only planning two 5G networks, shared. Extreme rural areas worldwide often can't get even one network, much less the 4-7 usually required for competition to do its magic.
Building only one network doesn't necessarily kill competition. BT has a landline monopoly in half the country; FT in an even larger monopoly in France. Both are required to wholesale the facilities at a reasonable price.
France has perhaps the most competitive market in the world. A triple play costs 30 euros ($36.) Similar costs over $100 in the U.S.
Proving to my satisfaction U.S. policy the last two decades has been awful.