POTUS Gets Plaudits for Crackdown on Suspect Tech

Communications companies were applauding the President's executive order meant to weed suspect tech out of the telecom supply chain, an issue the President declared a national emergency.

The President declared the issue a national emergency in a letter to Congress, which has already taken some steps to do some weeding, preventing the use of suspect tech in government contracts. 

The Administration said the effort is company and country agnostic, but China is prominent in the unspoken conversation. 

The order comes as the White House is engaged in a trade tussle with China over U.S. tariffs, including on tech products, but White House officials have said the two are not connected. 

“TIA applauds the President for issuing today’s executive order on communications equipment security," said Telecommunications Industry Association SVP Cinnamon Rogers. "We fully support the federal government taking action against specific suppliers that are deemed to pose a national security risk to the United States. Today’s action will reassure both consumers and industries harnessing communications technology that the networks they rely upon are built with equipment from trusted suppliers.  

“As 5G deployments accelerate, this EO will also help provide certainty for service providers and other communications equipment vendors as purchasing decisions are being made. TIA and our members look forward to working closely with the Administration as this EO is implemented in the months ahead, and to meeting the needs of customers who may be directly impacted. 

“In addition to addressing specific suppliers, we remain committed to ensuring that all information and communications technology (ICT) equipment manufacturers benefit from secure supply chains." 

“We appreciate the Administration’s concerns and the process created through today’s executive order," said Competitive Carriers Association President Steven K. Berry. "CCA members care deeply about national security and the millions of consumers they serve in rural America.  

"We look forward to continued dialogue and work with the national security agencies, Congress, the FCC and the Administration to help secure our nation's telecommunications networks as we move into the 5G technology world.” 

“Action is required against any country, organization or individual that exploits the technology supply chain to compromise our global internet and communications infrastructure," said USTelecom SVP, cybersecurity, Robert Mayer. "This is a national security issue of the highest order. Now that the Executive Order has been issued, it is critical there continues to be effective coordination across all agencies of government and close partnerships with the private sector to combat this growing threat to consumers and communities.” 

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.