Bill to Fund Replacement of Huawei, ZTE Gear Passes Senate
Friday, February 28, 2020 | Comments

The Senate unanimously passed the Secure and Trusted Telecommunications Networks Act, which includes $1 billion in funding to help small rural telecom carriers to replace existing Huawei and ZTE equipment. A House version passed in December, which means the legislation now moves to the White House for President Trump’s signature.

Trump supports the legislation and funding, which would be managed by the FCC.

“Telecommunications equipment from certain foreign adversaries poses a significant threat to our national security, economic prosperity and the future of U.S. leadership in advanced wireless technology,” said Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi in a statement. “By establishing a ‘rip and replace’ program, this legislation will provide meaningful safeguards for our communications networks and more secure connections for Americans. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for coming together to help move this bill to the president’s desk.”

The bipartisan Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act prohibits the use of federal funds administered by the FCC to purchase communications equipment or services from any company that poses a national security risk to American communications networks. The bill also requires the FCC to establish the Secure and Trusted Communications Reimbursement Program to assist small communications providers with the costs of removing prohibited equipment or services from their networks and replacing the prohibited equipment with more secure communications equipment or services. The legislation also helps the federal government better share supply chain security information with carriers, particularly small carriers, to help keep this equipment out of U.S. networks in the future.

“In today’s interconnected world, America’s wireless future depends on having networks that are secure from malicious foreign interference,” said a statement from House lawmakers. “The existence of Huawei’s technology in our networks represents an immense threat to America’s national and economic security. This bipartisan bill will help communities across the country by bolstering efforts to keep our communications supply chain safe from foreign adversaries and other dangerous actors, while helping small and rural providers remove and replace suspect network equipment. We thank our colleagues in the Senate for getting this important, bipartisan measure across the finish line and look forward to the president signing it into law.”

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Comments
On 3/4/20, Mike Mullarkey said:
So in reading this article, there is a bill on the House floor to fund the replacement of Chinese infrastructure that was purchased by a rural carrier that made a bad decision. Another government bailout, and we all have to pay for it.

On 3/4/20, Leon van der Linde said:
America faces a bigger threat internally by some of the companies than from outside. They don't realize it until it is too late. They have some hornets in their breasts, and it is going to sting them when they don't expect it.

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