FCC Pulls Plug on China Telecom Americas

China Telecom Americas logo
(Image credit: China Telecom Americas)

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to revoke the authority of China Telecom Americas to provide telecommunications services between the U.S. and other countries.

“The commission’s public-interest analysis finds that the present and future public interest, convenience, and necessity is no longer served by China Telecom Americas’ retention of its Section 214 authority,” said the FCC Tuesday (Oct. 26). Section 214 of the Telecommunications Act states when and how telecom carriers can extend, change or discontinue the services they offer, subject to FCC or state regulations. 

Also Read: FCC Flags More Chinese Telecoms

To help China Telecom’s U.S. customers transition to other mobile services, the FCC will produce a consumer guide, including in Chinese, to outline those options. It will send the guide to media outlets so they can help spread the word.

Last December, the FCC voted unanimously to initiate a revocation proceeding against the company after a number of federal agencies, in what used to be called the Team Telecom national security review, recommended revocation. The FCC suggested revocation was warranted based on those agencies’ conclusion that the company posed “substantial and unacceptable national security and law enforcement risks associated with [China Telecom Americas’] continued access to U.S. telecommunications infrastructure.‘ ”

The agencies cited the company's control by the Chinese government, its alleged failure to take all possible steps to protect its records and alleged misrepresentations about its cybersecurity practices.

China Telecom appealed, then sued.

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.