The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken another step to force telecom providers to remove Huawei and ZTE equipment from their networks. The members of the commission unanimously (5-0) voted to create a list of equipment prohibited for use in the country’s networks.
The FCC has also formally established a program to compensate eligible small operators for the cost of replacing equipment deemed to pose a threat to national security. According to the commission’s estimates, at least $ 1.6 billion will be required to reimburse the costs. And now the FCC is awaiting the necessary funds from the US Congress.
Once funding has been made available, “Operators who receive funds from the Universal Service Fund (USF) to provide services in remote areas of the country should remove such equipment or services from their networks and dispose of it properly.” According to the commission, these measures are aimed at ensuring compliance with the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019, which entered into force in March this year.
The FCC said last year that telecom operators cannot use government subsidies to buy Huawei or ZTE equipment. On Thursday, the commission rejected Huawei’s petition to revise the company’s definition as a threat to the country’s national security.