5G is coming. It’s coming to the United States. It’s coming to Great Britain. It will be in most of the developed world at some point in the near future. And most of it will have components produced by Huawei, the Chinese company some experts believe to be a proxy for China’s Community Party.
This week, a delegation from the White House tried and failed to prevent Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government from considering Huawei. Their reason for brushing aside our security concerns: They already took all of it into consideration. But to be more blunt, they noted that there are no viable alternatives on the market today to achieve the ambitious goals set forth by the British government.
“The British public deserve to have access to the best possible technology,” Johnson said on BBC Breakfast. “We want to put in gigabit broadband for everybody. Now if people oppose one brand or another then they have to tell us what’s the alternative.”
Therein lies the problem. Currently, there is no alternative.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich chimed in on Twitter, noting that Great Britain must not get in bed with the Chinese on this one but also acknowledging the United States has not produced a better solution.
If Great Britain ends up accepting Huawei as a wireless carrier it will be a major victory for China and a major defeat for the United States. The absence of a coherent pro-growth, pro-competition initiative in the US has crippled us for a year in trying to cope with Huawei.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) January 16, 2020
It’s an odd Catch-22. If we fear Huawei is going to steal data and spy on people for China, they need an alternative. But if they want 5G, Huawei is currently the only gatekeeper. Meanwhile, China is the only 5G gig in town for now.