Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The idea for a government-mandated nationwide 5G network has reared its head again, and it may not be the last time.

Why it matters: 5G is the focal point for a global rush to dominate the next wave of technology development — a race many policymakers worry the U.S. is already losing. National security fears about Chinese firms like Huawei are also motivating efforts to build home-grown 5G infrastructure.

Driving the news: As reported by Politico Friday, President Trump's re-election campaign had latched on to the idea of a nationwide "wholesale" 5G network, which is a dramatic departure from the free-market position of Trump's own administration.

  • Policy staffers working on the issue were taken by surprise, and the FCC hadn't been contacted by the campaign, per an agency spokesman.
  • On Sunday, the Trump campaign walked back that position and said there was "no daylight" between the campaign and the administration, as Axios reported.
  • It's the second time an idea for a national 5G network has been tamped down. When Axios reported last year that a Trump National Security Council staffer was considering a national 5G network, administration officials reiterated the White House's support for a free-market, private-industry driven approach.

Yes, but: Wireless industry insiders worry they haven't seen the end of it.

The broad outlines of the plan have been described in op-eds and tweets from people close to Trump.

  • In June last year, Trump's re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale described "a great 5G network" as an "open wholesale market with a privatized company that is not a carrier," in his "personal opinion." Last month he tweeted again about the need for a "wholesale" network.
  • Newt Gingrich said in a Newsweek op-ed last month that a "public-private partnership" was needed for a "carrier-neutral, wholesale-only, nationwide 5G network."

The company pushing the latest iteration of this idea is a small firm called Rivada, which says its technology can set up auctions for use of the airwaves and manage the demands of different companies accessing them.

  • The company unsuccessfully bid on wireless airwaves to build out a national public safety network, a deal that AT&T ended up securing. The company has talked with the Defense Department and other bodies in Washington, but has not submitted a formal proposal, said Rivada spokesman Brian Carney.
  • Rivada CEO Declan Ganley wrote in an op-ed after last year's leak of an NSC official's plan to build a nationwide 5G network that doing so "with private capital" wasn't nationalization, but a worthy "moonshot."
  • A year later Gingrich described his ideal plan as "a kind of wireless moonshot (but with private capital)."

Between the lines: The system they're describing, which is similar to what the Trump campaign appeared to be backing, would be a major break from today's wireless network arrangements.

  • Right now, carriers like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint buy exclusive rights from the government to use certain blocks of airwaves to build their networks.
  • Gingrich and Parscale appear to be backing the idea that the government should allocate a broad swath of airwaves to a single private company that would then manage the sharing process between different wireless providers.
  • Rivada describes its offering in similar terms.
  • Carney told Axios he was not aware of conversations between the company and Parscale or the Trump campaign on the subject.

The revival of the national network plan comes amid mounting anxiety about China's 5G ambitions and efforts to inject its chips and equipment into U.S. infrastructure.

  • The Trump administration had reportedly been working on an executive order to stop Chinese chip maker Huawei from selling advanced telecom equipment to the U.S., but an order was put off during trade negotiations, per Bloomberg.
  • In a tweet last month, Trump called on U.S. firms to "step up their efforts" and that the U.S. should win through competition, "not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies."
  • Fears about China gave Rivada an opening to push government intervention in 5G as a way for the U.S. to stay ahead, wireless industry sources tell us.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.