The FCC is seeking comment on how it should square its approach to preventing Universal Service Fund money from going to carriers that use Huawei and ZTE technology with Congress' mandate to do the same thing.
The Wireline Competition Bureau Monday (April 13) sought comment on the impact of the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act on its rulemaking on "Protecting Against National Security Threats to the Communications Supply Chain."
Back in November, the FCC voted unanimously to prohibit the USF support of equipment or services from any company that posed a national security risk to U.S. networks or the supply chain. It initially designated ZTE and Huawei to be such companies. It also sought comment on a program to reimburse current USF recipients for ripping and replacing that technology.
Then, on March 12, Congress passed the Act, which as the White House described it upon the President's signature, sounded pretty redundant. The White House said it "prohibits certain Federal subsidies from being used to purchase communications equipment or services posing national security risks; and establishes a reimbursement program for the replacement of communications equipment of services posing such risks."
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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.