Verizon, CenturyLink Among Providers on FCC List Using Huawei, ZTE Equipment
Monday, September 14, 2020 | Comments

Verizon was included in a list of eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) who own equipment or services from Huawei Technologies and ZTE that was released by the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) and Office of Economics and Analytics (OEA).

The information came from the bureau’s Supply Chain Security Information Collection, which was conducted in response to the commission’s 2019 Supply Chain Order. That order directed WCB and OEA to conduct an information collection to determine whether ETCs or their affiliates and subsidiaries own equipment from either of those companies. The order also directed the bureaus to collect information about the nature of the equipment and services, the costs associated with purchasing and/or installing such equipment and services, and the costs associated with removing and replacing such equipment and services.

The order further directed the WCB, after receiving and evaluating ETC submissions to consider making this information public. The commission directed staff to consider the “potential confidentiality of any information submitted, particularly where public release of such information could raise security concerns” but also directed that “the public interest in knowing whether a carrier uses equipment or services from Huawei or ZTE would significantly outweigh any interest the carrier would have in keeping such information confidential.”

Based on the information collected, filers reported it would cost an estimated $1.837 billion to remove and replace Huawei and ZTE equipment in their networks. Of that total, filers that appear to initially qualify for reimbursement under the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 report it could require approximately $1.618 billion to remove and replace any such equipment.

The bureaus noted that other providers of advanced communications may not have participated in the information collection and yet still be eligible for reimbursement under the terms of the Secure and Trusted Communications Act of 2019. The bureaus are continuing to review the cost data submitted in the information collection as part of our ongoing proceeding, which will support the commission’s effort to implement the legislation, including establishing the Secure and Trusted Communications Reimbursement Program.

The FCC has designated Huawei and ZTE as national security threats because of their connections to the Chinese government.

Providers on the list aside from Verizon include CenturyLink and Windstream Holdings. Find the full list of providers here.

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