British Parliament Wakes Up To Huawei

The Westminster Parliament's Science and Technology Committee has urged the Government to plan for other emerging technologies to avoid the row over 5G and Huawei equipment and they have released a report highlighting the UK's dependence on just two 5G vendors, which it claims, poses a risk to national security. 

The proposals are in response to the deployment of 5G in the UK, which saw Chinese firm Huawei ultimately excluded from the process on security grounds, leaving the country reliant on only two equipment vendors while causing a likely delay to the full installation of 5G networks.

While the government did eventually act on expert security advice and banned Huawei’s 5G the legislation took so long that it left the UK with just Ericsson and Nokia as 5G partners. The 5G strategy has come too late and will take years to achieve any success, according to MP Greg Clark, who is the committee's chair.  "A lack of strategic foresight in 5G has seen the UK become dependent on only two vendors for a crucial technology...We must learn from this experience to avoid making our economy and security vulnerable from a lack of acceptable alternatives in emerging technologies."Clark said. 

Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Quantum Computing are examples of emerging technologies that, like 5G, can be potential threats to personal and national security.

Greg Clark called for a clear, proactive strategy to avoid a similar situation to the Huawei saga, criticising the UK government's 5G diversification strategy. "The government needs to take an activist approach to encourage research and development, and must now co-operate internationally to build common regulatory approaches with like-minded nations." he said.

The Parliamentary Committee's main concern is that these technologies develop at a faster rate than anything seen before, that time was  being lost and that the government needs to lay out a  formal strategy to avoid a future  dependence on a small number of  technology vendors, let alone one. 

A Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokeswoman said: “The security and resilience of 5G and other emerging technologies is a top priority and our £250 million strategy to tackle this global issue head-on is the first of its kind in the world
.. We are working at pace with international and industry partners on solutions and establishing a National Telecommunications Lab to open up new economic opportunities in mobile technology.”

UK Parliament:     ITPro:        Belfast Telegraph:      BBC:       News&Star:     Image: Unsplash

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