The Rural Wireless Association says it was “stunned” by the FCC’s decision last week to designate Huawei and ZTE as national security threats and immediately bar the use of Universal Service Fund (USF) support to purchase, maintain, or otherwise support the companies’ equipment and technology in rural carriers’ networks.
As a result, rural carriers who have deployed Huawei or ZTE equipment or
services in their networks will now lack the ability to support their
critical networks that are serving hundreds of thousands of rural
residents and those traveling through rural America, according to RWA.
“Given the difficulty in demonstrating where specifically their USF
support is being used in their networks, this puts rural carriers in a
precarious situation,” notes RWA in a statement. That’s because the
change is happening at the same time rural carriers are striving to
“offer extended payment terms for their customers…adjust to the fallout
of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, and continue to keep rural Americans
connected to broadband and telephone services during the COVID-19
pandemic.” Continue Reading