Could the government nationalize the 5G network?

A proposal by a Trump administration official suggested taking our wireless carrier networks out of the hands of individual companies and giving the government full control.

"This is very different from the way things have been done up until now," tech expert Seth Porges said. "And the reasoning behind it is a little shaky."

That reasoning may be China. Axios broke the story, citing an internal memo and PowerPoint presentation that argues for the U.S government building its own 5G network and renting it out to wireless carriers. the memo calls China a malicious actor and a threat to cybersecurity.

The idea for a government-run system was reported being pushed by Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding, a former Defense Department attaché in China who joined the National Security Council last year.  The White House press secretary played down the memo's significance.

Pulling this off would cost $200 billion and take three years.

All four FCC commissioners have come out against it, including Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican.

"Any federal effort to construct a nationalized 5G network would be a costly and counterproductive distraction from the policies we need to help the United States win the 5G future," Pai said in a statement.

Another Republican commissioner called it nonsensical.  The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee likened it to life in Venezuela.

Currently, U.S.-based wireless carriers are each planning to launch their own 5G networks by 2020.