FCC to vote on preventing broadband providers from using Huawei or ZTE equipment

Light Reading reports…

The FCC plans to vote next month on a proposal that would not only prevent some US telecom companies from using equipment from Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE in the future, but would also pay some US companies to replace their existing network equipment provided by Huawei and ZTE with equipment from other, trusted vendors.

“When it comes to 5G and America’s security, we can’t afford to take a risk and hope for the best. We need to make sure our networks won’t harm our national security, threaten our economic security, or undermine our values. The Chinese government has shown repeatedly that it is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to do just that. And Chinese law requires all companies subject to its jurisdiction to secretly comply with demands from Chinese intelligence services,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement announcing the move. “As the United States upgrades its networks to the next generation of wireless technologies — 5G — we cannot ignore the risk that the Chinese government will seek to exploit network vulnerabilities in order to engage in espionage, insert malware and viruses, and otherwise compromise our critical communications networks.”

I mention this for at least two reasons. First, because it could impact providers that serve Minnesota. Second, because broadband policy extends beyond getting public funding – in the forms of CAF or state funds or ReConnect or other. Right now I see a strong focus on funding – but there are other issues that can be at least as disruptive. Other potentially disruptive issues – tax laws for cooperatives getting broadband grants or Twitter’s recent decision to not run political ads. Funding is certainly a strong driver but there are others requiring attention too. There’s a balance between price and cost.

This entry was posted in Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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