Wednesday, December 18, 2019

House Votes On Broadband Mapping, Supply Chain

The House on Monday passed bipartisan compromise measures aimed at improving broadband mapping and securing the U.S. telecommunications supply chain. The latter includes funding to help rural wireless carriers rip and replace any existing gear from providers like Huawei that the administration has labeled a security risk.

The bipartisan Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act, could get a vote in the Senate as soon as this week, reports The Hill. The legislation prohibits the FCC from awarding funds to purchase telecom equipment from "any company that poses a national security risk" while requiring the government to help small communications providers rip questionable equipment out of telecom networks. The bill requires the agency to establish a $1 billion program to help small and rural communications providers remove "suspect network equipment" and replace it with products that are deemed more "secure."

The House on Monday also approved two other telecom bills to help improve the Commission's broadband maps; even the agency agrees with critics that the maps are inaccurate and is working to improve them. Because the FCC uses the maps to determine where to devote billions of dollars in broadband investment, the issue has drawn intense scrutiny from people who say they are being overlooked — particularly in rural areas. Continue Reading

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