FCC Flags More Chinese Telecoms

Building on its rejection of China Mobile USA's applications to provide telecom services between the U.S. and other countries, the FCC is suggesting other such license applications are suspect, too. 

The FCC said Friday (April 24) that it has issued "show cause" orders to China Telecom Americas, China Unicom Americas, Pacific Networks, and ComNet directing them to justify why the FCC should not start proceedings to revoke their licenses to operate in the U.S. as well. 

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The Executive Branch has recommended that China Telecom Americas' license be revoked. 

As with ZTE and Huawei, whose tech the FCC has tentatively found to be suspect and in need of replacing, the FCC's issues with China Mobile were concerns that current or potential Chinese government influence could make them a national security threat to the network security of critical 5G nets in the U.S. 

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Foreign entities providing telecommunications services—or seeking to provide services—in the United States must not pose a risk to our national security,” said FCC chairman Ajit Pai. “The Show Cause Orders reflect our deep concern—one shared by the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and State and the U.S. Trade Representative—about these companies’ vulnerability to the exploitation, influence, and control of the Chinese Communist Party, given that they are subsidiaries of Chinese state-owned entities. We simply cannot take a risk and hope for the best when it comes to the security of our networks.” 

The companies have 30 days to respond to the FCC letters.  

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.