Strengthening Telecommunication Networks: Promoting Openness and Security in 5G and Beyondby@whitehouse

Strengthening Telecommunication Networks: Promoting Openness and Security in 5G and Beyond

by The White HouseMay 14th, 2024
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Efforts are underway to strengthen telecommunication networks by promoting openness, security, and supplier diversity in 5G and beyond. Initiatives include principles for trusted suppliers, digital infrastructure investment, and preparations for 6G technology with open and interoperable networks. These collaborative efforts aim to advance global connectivity and ensure secure ICT ecosystems worldwide.
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You can jump to any part of the United States International Cyberspace & Digital Policy Strategy here. This part is 12 of 38.

Line of Effort 1: Promote Development and Adoption of Open, Inclusive, Secure, and Resilient Telecommunication Networks

5G applications are rapidly evolving—expanding digital connectivity in new ways and creating new cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Telecommunication networks should be built using products from trusted suppliers that operate, and have supply chain partners that operate, primarily in countries that respect rights through consistent application of the law through an independent judiciary, in accordance with the principles reflected in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Declaration on Government Access to Personal Data Held by Private Sector Entities. Telecommunications networks should not be built using products from suppliers subject to the control or influence of an authoritarian regime, and without meaningful, independent checks and balances or judicial recourse against government demands. International 5G-related principles, such as the Prague Proposals on 5G Security and Prague Proposals on Telecommunications Supplier Diversity, support market competitiveness and the diversity of trusted 5G equipment vendors.

These efforts also extend to the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment’s Digital Infrastructure pillar. Recognizing that cost is often the primary driving factor in ICT procurements, the United States is supporting governments, middle-mile internet infrastructure providers, and Internet service providers to develop greater competition and diversity in telecommunications supply chains, particularly through the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership (DCCP). DCCP is a whole-of-government effort, led by the Department of State, to provide capacity building, technical assistance, and project design and financing in support of an open Internet and enhanced cybersecurity.

In addition, the CHIPS and Science Act allocated $500 million to the International Technology Security and Innovation (ITSI) Fund for the Department of State to support the development and adoption of secure semiconductor supply chains and telecommunications networks. The United States will use this funding to continue to work with partners to put in place policy and regulatory frameworks for secure ICT ecosystems and to level the playing field for secure and trustworthy vendors.

Along with helping build secure networks, digital solidarity is also expressed through efforts to build digital infrastructure that promotes competition, advances consumer choice, and puts communities and individuals in charge of their digital lives and resources. Recognizing the need to attract capital and de-risk potential digital infrastructure investment, USAID—with funding from DCCP—launched a blended finance program called Digital Invest that partners with fund managers and project developers to expand access to Internet connectivity and digital financial services in emerging markets worldwide. To date, Digital Invest’s 13 partners have leveraged an initial $8.45 million in Department of State and USAID funding to raise over $300 million in investment capital for digital finance and Internet service providers in emerging markets that use secure network equipment, catalyzing an additional $1.15 billion in follow-on funding from third-party investors.

U.S. foreign assistance programs will also increase competition in the market and promote telecommunications supplier diversity by advancing the development of open and interoperable interfaces and protocols, such as Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN). This open network architecture eases the ability for new suppliers to enter the market, lowers costs for deployment, and speeds innovation. Open RAN presents opportunities for emerging economies to participate directly in the supply chain, such as through local assembly and software development. Just as important, Open RAN offers alternatives for the reliance on technology from untrusted vendors. As a result, the Department of State will continue to support efforts such as funding commercial trials, feasibility studies, reverse trade missions, and workforce education and awareness activities that promote Open RAN. The United States will continue collaborating with the governments of Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom on telecommunications supply chain diversification and related issues through the Global Coalition on Telecommunications, launched in October 2023.

Working with other governments and the private sector, the United States is also preparing for a new wave of innovation. Within the next decade, 6G will within the next decade bring even higher speeds, larger capacity, and lower latency to wireless communication. Building open and interoperable network architectures such as Open RAN into 6G development from the beginning will help ensure supplier diversity and supply chain resilience. In February 2024, the United States—with Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and the United Kingdom—endorsed shared principles for the research and development of 6G wireless communication systems.

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This post was originally published on May 6, 2024, by the U.S Department of State