Federal Communications Commissioner Chairman Ajit Pai expressed on Monday his opposition to a reported proposal from officials within the Trump administration that calls for the creation of a government-controlled, national 5G network.

In a statement issued by Pai, the Trump-appointed head of the FCC firmly staked out his position in opposition to any form of government control for the next-generation wireless internet service:

“I oppose any proposal for the federal government to build and operate a nationwide 5G network. The main lesson to draw from the wireless sector’s development over the past three decades—including American leadership in 4G—is that the market, not government, is best positioned to drive innovation and investment. What government can and should do is to push spectrum into the commercial marketplace and set rules that encourage the private sector to develop and deploy next-generation infrastructure. Any federal effort to construct a nationalized 5G network would be a costly and counterproductive distraction from the policies we need to help the United States win the 5G future.”

Pai’s position on the proposed nationwide, government-operated 5G network was echoed by the United States Telecom Association, a trade association representing telecommunications firms.

“There is nothing that would slam the breaks more quickly on our hard-won momentum to be the leader in the global race for 5G network deployment more quickly than the federal government stepping in to build those networks,” USTelecom President and CEO Jonathan Spalter said in a statement .

“The best way to future-proof the nation’s communications networks is to continue to encourage and incentivize America’s broadband companies—working hand-in-glove with the rest of the internet ecosystem, and in partnership with government, to continue what we do best: invest, innovate and lead,” Spalter said.

Pai’s position does not come as a surprise, as much of his first year as the head of the FCC has been marked by efforts to roll back government involvement in the telecommunications industry—especially in regard to the internet.

Last month, the FCC chairman successfully led an effort to repeal net neutrality protections that gave the government agency the ability to regulate internet service providers. At the time, Pai criticized the Obama-era rules “heavy-handed regulation” that amounted to “government overreach.”

What is surprising is that Pai had to make such a statement at all. The proposal for a nationalized 5G network, first reported by Axios, represents a major shift in approach to government involvement in broadband and wireless technology.

According to the report, national security officials within the Trump administration have proposed the government-controlled, nationwide network as a means of ensuring the security of the 5G spectrum to prevent threat actors like China from interfering with it. 5G represents an important development for wireless communications and is believed to be necessary for the future of emerging technologies like driverless vehicles.

The proposal calls for the 5G network to built by the government over the course of the next 3 years. Were the Trump administration to go ahead with the plan, it would likely receive significant push back from telecommunications companies like T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and AT&T. Many of the mobile carriers have already started to deploy 5G technologies to select cities in the U.S.