The FCC Tuesday officially designated Chinese telecoms Huawei and ZTE — and their parents, affiliates, and subsidiaries — as “covered companies” under the agency’s 2019 ban on the use of universal service support to purchase equipment or services from companies posing a national security threat. The action means money from the Commission’s $8.3 billion a year Universal Service Fund may no longer be used to buy, obtain, maintain, improve, modify, or otherwise support any equipment or services produced or provided by these suppliers. The designations are effective immediately.
“Both companies have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and
China’s military apparatus, and both companies are broadly subject to
Chinese law obligating them to cooperate with the country’s intelligence
services,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. He said the agency also took
into account the findings and actions of Congress, the executive branch,
the intelligence community, America’s allies, and communications
service providers in other countries. Continue Reading