On Tuesday, April 11th, Senator John Thune arrived on the DSU campus to hold an open forum in the Tuneheim Classroom Building auditorium. Senator Thune addressed the push that the United States is making to become the first in the world to have a fully functioning 5g internet network. Thune, who is chairman of the commerce, science and transportation committee informed those in attendance of a bill he is trying to pass called the “Mobile Now” bill. The purpose of the bill is essentially to make the process of getting 5g easier, such as requiring anyone that is digging up say for instance a highway, that broadband wires would be required to be laid at the same time. The bill also sets a goal of making 500 megahertz of federal spectrum available for private sector use. He predicts that 5g will be in use by the year 2020, and made it very clear that he wants the United States to be the first country to introduce it.
After a brief opening about 5g and everything he is doing to make it possible, Senator Thune opened up the floor for questions. When asked about the benefits of being the first nation with 5g, Thune brought up some very important points. He pointed out that, as Americans, we have always taken pride in being known as one of the world leaders. He also brought up how much control it could possibly give us and how much money there is to be made with getting the 5g network going, which also falls into the category of our country being world leaders, as this would give us an upper hand and a great head start on the market. He also believes that this will help our education, as 5g would provide opportunities for places like Dakota State, of continuously learning and improving on ways to better the network. As we continuously work on ways to improve, there would be a demand for people educated in the area, which could lead to many new job opportunities. Lastly, Thune spoke on the balance between freedom and security. According to the senator, the government has had a light hand on the freedom we have to use internet for our own pleasures, and that is the only way to go about it. He believes that having too much governmental control could possibly drive investors away, and that we would need to find the right balance between freedom and security to make 5g successful.
Having 5g internet is something that could be very important for our country to be the first to have. While speaking about the university, Thune was quoted saying “I think it fits in nicely with what you have here, and where they go want to go with it”. DSU has been known for its strong education in technology, and 5g internet could lead to many possibilities for current and future students down the road.