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