New FCC Proceeding Seeks Comment on Chinese Company Ban
Friday, July 17, 2020 | Comments

The FCC began integrating portions of the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act, enacted in March, into its existing supply chain rulemaking proceeding. In that proceeding, the commission in November unanimously adopted a ban on the use of Universal Service Fund (USF) support to purchase, obtain or maintain any equipment or services from companies posing a national security threat to communications networks or the communications supply chain.

The declaratory ruling finds that the FCC has already fulfilled one of its obligations under the Secure Networks Act. In particular, the commission finds that, by adopting its November 2019 ban on USF support for equipment and services produced or provided by companies that pose a national security threat, the agency has substantially implemented its obligation under the Secure Networks Act to prohibit the use of federal subsidies for covered communications equipment and services.

The accompanying second further notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) seeks public comment on implementing various aspects of the act, including proposals to create and maintain the list of covered communications equipment and services required by the statute; ban the use of federal subsidies, including USF funding, for any communications equipment or services placed on this list; require all providers of advanced communications services to report on whether they use any covered communications equipment or services; and prevent waste, fraud and abuse in the reimbursement program that is required by the statute to remove and replace insecure equipment.

Last month, the FCC formally designated Huawei Technologies and ZTE as covered companies for purposes of the agency’s November 2019 ban. As a result of those designations, money from the FCC’s $8.3 billion a year USF may no longer be used to purchase, obtain, maintain, improve, modify or otherwise support any equipment or services produced or provided by these two suppliers.

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Comments
On 7/22/20, Alex said:
At least someone understands the threat. I whole-heartedly support a no more China policy as applies to economic and security threats to our national security. Bring it all back home.


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