Weekly Writers Round-Up: Nationalized 5G Networks, Education Inequality, and Regulatory Sandboxes - America's Future Foundation

October 14, 2020

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Weekly Writers Round-Up: Nationalized 5G Networks, Education Inequality, and Regulatory Sandboxes

By: AFF Editors

Each week, we’ll be featuring opinion pieces from the alumni and current participants of AFF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. Do you dream of having bylines like these? Learn more about how the Writing Fellows Program can help boost your writing career!

Implications of a Government-Run 5G Network by Krisztina Pusok (Fall 2017) in Morning Consult
The Pentagon’s recent Request for Information resurfaces a costly and unfeasible idea that the Trump administration has considered in the past: a government-built and operated 5G network. Calls for a nationalized 5G network are motivated both by a national security and an economic component. Besides the obvious and concerning fact that it would require billions of new tax dollars to deploy, there are some serious security implications that deserve further consideration.

Proponents of 5G nationalization argue, in part, that this is necessary to protect U.S. networks from interference by non-U.S. providers, China in particular, and to ensure the security of critical applications. Yet, the Defense Department and other proponents of a nationalized network have not made it clear how it would improve on the security practices of carriers who have been operating mobile networks for decades and provide the secure and reliable network that they seek to ensure…

In Many Schools, Enrollment Was Dropping Before COVID. Holding Districts Harmless Ignores Student Need and Could Make Inequities Worse by Christian Barnard (Spring 2019) in The 74
The 2020-21 school year is beginning with unprecedented uncertainty. A new survey from Civis Analytics revealed that nearly 40 percent of families have disenrolled from their current K-12 school in response to their reopening plans. District leaders are keenly aware that losing children means losing funding, and as they could not have possibly planned for an enrollment shock of this magnitude, administrators have valid reasons to ask policymakers for additional supports so they can stabilize their budgets, deliver virtual instruction and protect the health of staff and students.

However, it is key that policymakers disentangle the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on enrollment decline from larger trends that state education systems were seeing prior to the pandemic…

‘Sandbox’ Everything by James Czerniawski (Summer 2020) and Trace Mitchell (Summer 2019) in RealClearPolicy
For government to work effectively, it must keep pace with changing circumstances. If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of having the ability to adapt in the face of rapidly evolving events and public needs. Unfortunately, the crisis has illustrated how inept many government institutions are in this regard. An expansive thicket of complicated, overly burdensome laws and regulations has greatly inhibited our ability to quickly and effectively respond to the coronavirus outbreak…