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To ensure that telecommunications certification bodies (TCBs) and measurement facilities (test labs) that certify wireless devices for the US market are not influenced by untrustworthy actors, FCC’s senior leaders Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and Commissioner Brendan announced a proposal.

The proposed regulations aim to fortify the integrity of the wireless equipment authorization program by permanently banning Huawei and other entities listed by the FCC, while equipping the FCC and its national security allies with essential tools to protect this crucial process.

“Communications networks are a part of everything we do, and it’s why their security matters more than ever before,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel. “So we must ensure that our equipment authorization program and those entrusted with administering it can rise to the challenge posed by persistent and ever-changing security and supply chain threats.”

More Funding for ‘Rip and Replace’ Program

In its notion to remove Chinese-produced equipment that are found to pose security threats, there is currently more than USD 3 billion funding shortfall. Because of this, nearly 40% of US telcos reported that they cannot complete the necessary “rip and replace” work without additional government funding.

Given the funding shortfall, FCC is required to first allocate funding to telcos with two million or fewer customers.  

The Chairwoman detailed in her letter the risks to national security, network reliability, and small businesses should the program funding fall short of achieving its goals of removing, replacing, and disposing of communications equipment and services produced or provided by Huawei or ZTE.

Failure to fully implement the program could escalate national security worries and potentially lead to network compatibility issues stemming from fragmented replacement of covered equipment.