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Federal takeover of 5G wireless network has net neutrality advocates raises significant concerns

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President Donald Trump’s national security team is looking at options to counter China that include the U.S. government building a super-fast 5G wireless network, a senior administration official said on Sunday.

The official, confirming the gist of a report from Axios.com, said the option was being debated at a low level in the administration and was six to eight months away from being considered by the president himself.

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The 5G network concept is aimed at addressing what officials see as China’s threat to U.S. cyber security and economic security.

“We want to build a network so the Chinese can’t listen to your calls,” the senior official told Reuters. “We have to have a secure network that doesn’t allow bad actors to get in. We also have to ensure the Chinese don’t take over the market and put every non-5G network out of business.”

Government development of a wireless network would likely raise alarms in the private telecommunications industry. Another option includes having a 5G network built by a consortium or wireless carriers, the official said.

“We want to build a secure 5G network and we have to work with industry to figure out the best way to do it,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Axios published documents that it said were from a presentation from a National Security Council official about the 5G issue. If the government built the 5G network, it would rent access to carriers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile , Axios said.

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A looming concern laid out in the presentation is China’s growing presence in the manufacture and operation of wireless networks. A concerted government push could help the U.S. compete on that front, according to the presentation.

A 5G network is expected to offer significantly faster speeds, more capacity and shorter response times, which could be utilized for new technologies ranging from self-driving cars to remote surgeries. Telecom companies and their suppliers consider it to be a multibillion-dollar revenue opportunity.

Tensions over China’s role in wireless networks have already reached Capitol Hill.

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U.S. lawmakers are urging AT&T, the No. 2 wireless carrier, to cut commercial ties to Chinese phone maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] and oppose plans by telecom operator China Mobile Ltd <0941.HK> to enter the U.S. market because of national security concerns, two congressional aides told Reuters earlier this month.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Pete Schroeder; Editing by Peter Cooney and Cynthia Osterman)

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Fiona Hill will testify that Trump’s obsession with ‘fictional narrative’ about Ukraine benefited Russia

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Fiona Hill will tell lawmakers that President Donald Trump became distracted from Russia's threat to national security by a "fictional narrative" about Ukraine that served his political needs.

Hill left the White House in July to spend more time with her family, after serving more than two years as Trump's top national security adviser on Russia and Europe, and will testify about her final months on the job as part of the House impeachment inquiry, reported Axios.

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WATCH LIVE: Day 5 of the Trump impeachment hearings

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On Thursday morning the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will hold its fifth public impeachment hearing looking into allegations that President Donald Trump abused his office by attempting to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky into announcing an investigation that would benefit the president politically in return for releasing $400 million in much-needed security aid.

Thursday hearing will testimony by Fiona Hill, a former Europe and Russia expert at the White House, and David Holmes, an embassy official in Kyiv.

As the New York Times notes, "Ms. Hill is expected to describe her concerns about the Ukraine pressure campaign and those of John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser. Mr. Holmes will be asked about a cellphone conversation he overheard in which President Trump asked an ambassador about investigations he wanted Ukraine to announce."

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Democrats have ‘all the pieces they need’ to impeach Trump: Ex-White House official

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Appearing on CNN's "New Day," former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart said that Democrats have done as good a job as they can possibly can -- given restraints -- in making the case for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Speaking with hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman one day after E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland emphatically made the case that the president was engaging in a quid pro quo scheme to force Ukraine's president to make a statement the would damage former Vice President Joe Biden on return for foreign aid, Lockhart said all the pieces are in place for Democrats to move forward.

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