On December 11, via its official Twitter account, the Federal Communications Commission made a big announcement. This announcement states that FCC took a further step toward removing Huawei and ZTE equipment from telecom providers.
As clarified by Engadget, this step from the FCC will effectively ban Huawei and ZTE equipment. They will force providers to remove Huawei and ZTE equipment from their networks. With a vote of 5-0 commissioners decided to create a list of banned gear. With that vote, a complete Huawei and ZTE ban seems to be inching closer.
However, the Federal Communications Commission, or the FCC, has established a program to help smaller providers. This program will help smaller providers recoup any losses they may sustain.
This program will reimburse these smaller providers for the cost of replacing equipment considered a risk to national security. This will help keep smaller providers from taking a financial hit that is too big.
Waiting for funds from congress
The FCC’s new announcement is in response to the Executive Branch is concerned about “substantial and unacceptable national security”. must wait for Congress to allocate the funds to allow this.
It is estimated that at least $1.6 billion dollars will be needed for this. With these funds, the move to reimburse smaller providers will be possible. As a result, once the funding is complete the providers must remove equipment or services from their networks. This will only apply to providers receiving universal service funding.
In addition to the removal of the equipment or services, providers must also properly dispose of everything. By following the FCC’s order to do so, the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 will be enforced. This act became law in March of this year.
Last year the FCC said providers can not use subsidies to buy any equipment from Huawei or ZTE. Huawei made a request for the agency to reconsider its designation as a national security threat. The FCC denied this request.
Subsequently, the FCC also is also looking into whether to block the ability of China Telecom to operate in the United States. Back in September 2019 two senators questioned the agency to review licenses related to China Telecom and China Unicom.
Huawei, along with other Chinese telecommunications providers, has been under the radar for years now. The FCC’s decision to take things a step further signals that the complete removal of these companies may be close at hand.
In short, it seems like Huawei is will soon be replaced when it comes to providing any networking equipment or services here in the United States. ZTE will also feel the sting of the FCC’s decision.