New wireless internet strategy must maximize security and reach all communities including rural Delaware, Carper said.

Sen. Tom Carper , senior Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, joined U.S. cybersecurity and national security officials for a hearing on supply chain security, global competitiveness, and 5G. This hearing focused on the secure roll out of 5G networks, the supply chain risks associated with certain 5G equipment, and on the need for a national strategy for 5G that maximizes security and reaches all communities.

“5G deployment is not just an economic development issue or a cybersecurity issue – it’s an equality issue,” said Carper.

“Internet is sparse in many parts of the country, especially in rural communities. Many Americans, including those in Delaware, do not have basic access to internet, such as WiFi or 4G. Several months ago, I visited Delmar Public Library, a newly built library in a rural part of Sussex County. During my visit, the librarian shared how the library is a space for families to access the internet. In the rural parts of Delaware, people drive to spaces like Delmar Public Library, fire stations, and shopping centers for access to internet, and, in some cases, so students can complete their homework with a reliable network connection. As our nation’s economy, workplaces, and schools become more digitized, we must figure out a way to ensure that a national strategy for 5G maximizes security and leaves no community behind.”

5G is the industry term that refers to the globally agreed upon technical standard for the latest evolution in mobile wireless networks—the technology that allows people to make and receive calls from their cell phones, to wirelessly access internet data such as e-mail and websites, and that generally supports technology that connects to the internet, at a faster speed.

Each generation of cellular network technology has brought advances in speed, capacity, features and services. However, as technology has become increasingly complex, and suppliers are increasingly located in countries around the globe, the security risks associated with advances in mobile technology have grown exponentially.