Monday, July 6, 2020

RWA “Stunned,” Asks FCC to Delay USF Cutoff for Huawei, ZTE Gear

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

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