China Telecom Has Some Explaining to Do, Says FCC

Both the FCC and the Department of Justice are looking for answers from China Telecom (Americas) on whether it is trying to suppress some information in the government's review of its ability to operate in the U.S. 

Related: FCC Flags More Chinese Telecoms 

In April, the FCC issued a "show cause" order to China Telecom (Americas) directing it to justify why the FCC should not start proceedings to revoke its licenses to operate in the U.S., something the Executive Branch has recommended the FCC to do. 

That was out of concern that current or potential Chinese government influence could makes the company a national security threat to the network security of critical 5G nets in the U.S.

On May 1, according to the FCC, China Telecom (Americas) asked the FCC to disclose any FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act)-related material the FCC had obtained in its review. On May 19, the Justice Department said it was unclear whether China Telecom Americas was trying to challenge the legality of that FISA surveillance and "suppress" it from consideration in the FCC's review of the company's license to operate in the U.S. 

DOJ asked the FCC to get and answer, and the FCC is now asking the company to do so by June 8, when China Mobile (Americas') response to the FCC's show cause order is due.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.