Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Pai Proposes to Ban Carriers from Using USF Money on Huawei, ZTE

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Monday circulated to his colleagues two proposals aimed at protecting U.S. communications networks from national security threats. He hopes the agency will vote on the proposals at the November 19 meeting. 

First, a draft Report and Order would prohibit companies from using money from the FCC’s $8.5 billion Universal Service Fund (USF) to purchase equipment or services from any company that poses a national security threat. The draft R&O would initially designate Chinese telecoms Huawei and ZTE as companies that pose a national security risk. The Commission could add more companies over time. The ban would apply to both wireline and wireless carriers; however the agency believes Huawei gear is purchased by mostly wireless carriers.

Second, a draft Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and draft Information Collection Order would propose to remove and replace equipment produced by covered companies from USF-funded communications networks. The agency would conduct an assessment to find out how much Huawei and ZTE equipment is in these networks and the costs to remove and replace it. Continue Reading

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