FCC Makes Changes to Supply Chain Reimbursement Program Related to Foreign Entities
Tuesday, July 13, 2021 | Comments

The FCC adopted an order that incorporates changes to the commission’s rules consistent with the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which appropriated $1.895 billion for the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program.

The commission created the reimbursement program in 2020 to reimburse providers of advanced communications services for costs reasonably incurred in removing, replacing and disposing of communications and equipment that pose an unacceptable risk to national security. The order, among other changes, increases the eligibility cap for participation in the reimbursement program from providers serving two million or fewer customers to those with 10 million or fewer customers.

Securing America’s critical communications infrastructure from potential security threats is more important than ever due to the outsized impact communications networks have on work, education, health care, and personal communications, the FCC said. The order is another step in ongoing FCC action to protect the communications networks from those who would harm the United States.

Key changes in the order include:
• Modifying the equipment and services eligible for the reimbursement program to include all communications equipment and services produced or provided by Huawei Technologies or ZTE
• Establishing June 30 as the new date by which covered communications equipment and services must have been obtained to be eligible for reimbursement program funds
• Enacting the prioritization scheme expressly provided for in the Consolidated Appropriations Act if demand for reimbursement program funding exceeds the $1.895 billion appropriated by Congress
• Clarifying some reimbursement program requirements to assist eligible providers as they prepare to seek reimbursement for expenses related to removing, replacing and disposing of covered communications equipment or services

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