NTIA, on behalf of the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government (Executive Branch), submits these comments in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (Commission) Notice of Inquiry in the above-captioned proceeding on open radio access networks (Open RAN). These comments serve as an integrated, cohesive response from numerous agencies within the Executive Branch.
The Executive Branch recognizes that many network operators, both domestically and abroad, face limited options when selecting vendors to develop and deploy wireless networks. Limited competition in the telecommunications infrastructure market can reduce supply chain resilience and security and contribute to higher prices for operators and consumers in the long run. As stated in the Implementation Plan of the National Strategy to Secure 5G, the Executive Branch agrees that “close coordination between the United States Government, private sector, academic, and international government partners is required to ensure adoption of policies, standards, guidelines, and procurement strategies that reinforce 5G vendor diversity and foster market competition.” One promising solution in line with these objectives is open, interoperable networks, including Open RAN. While this response focuses on Open RAN, the Executive Branch’s policy is to promote the development of Open RAN alongside other policies, technologies, and architectures that support 5G vendor diversity and foster market competition.