Computer Tech Cos. Provide Rip-and-Replace Guidance

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has given the FCC some advice on how it should approach a "rip and replace" regime for getting existing suspect tech out of U.S. networks. 

It was providing comment on the FCC request for input on how such a regime would operate. The FCC has already voted to exclude such tech--Chinese telecoms Huawei and ZTE were first to be tentatively fingered--to be funded by Universal Service fund broadband subsidy going forward, but has only proposed the rip-and-replace regime for networks with existing tech, seeking comment on just how to do it given that at the same time it was proposing the regime, Congress mandated it in the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act. 

Realted: FCC Seeks Comment on Excluding Suspect Foreign Tech 

For one thing, said the group, the FCC should develop a list of categories of replacement technology, rather than specify suggested replacements, which would constitute and approved product list 9APL). CompTIA said the latter would be "counterproductive, contrast with the approach taken by other agencies in addressing suppliers of concern, impair innovation, and hurt technology neutrality." 

That is because an APL can "misalign supply chain risk decision-making, would likely lead to over- and under-inclusion of products on the list, and would unnecessarily distort the market," said the group. 

It also said such a category list should be broad and technology neutral and include hardware and software, "both for statutory reasons and because of emerging technology trends." 

The FCC is looking at virtualizing some of the core network functions, making them more software-based, a sector dominated by the U.S., rather than hardware, which is dominated by foreign suppliers, notably Chinese telecom Huawei. 

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.