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New Bill Pumps $750M Into U.S. Telecom

Having concluded Chinese telecoms ZTE and Huawei should be scrubbed from U.S. 5G networks, a bipartisan group of House members is looking to promote U.S. alternatives with a cash infusion. 

Related: FCC Seeks Comment on Excluding Foreign Tech

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), ranking member Greg Walden (R-Ore.), and committee members Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) have introduced the “Utilizing Strategic Allied (USA) Telecommunications Act of 2020.“ 

The bill would authorize up to $750 million for a Department of Commerce-administered program--in consultation with the FCC and other agencies--to speed deployment and use of open interfaced, standards-based, interoperable 5G networks employing trusted suppliers. 

“Earlier this year, Congress took strong action to protect our communications networks against foreign interference from dangerous companies like Huawei and ZTE," said Pallone, Walden, Guthrie and Matsui. "Now, we must follow that up by promoting equipment and technologies that can ensure a more diverse, sustainable, and competitive supply chain for America’s 5G networks. The ‘USA Telecommunications Act of 2020’ will encourage more competition in the network equipment market and help lower costs for trusted equipment over the long term. By promoting a more competitive market of trusted alternatives to suspect 5G equipment, we can more easily secure our critical networks and bring like-minded countries with us. We look forward to moving this bill through Congress soon.”