The FCC is collecting information from telecommunications carriers on the use of Huawei and ZTE equipment and services in their networks. The agency earlier adopted a rule barring the use of Universal Service funds to buy equipment and services from companies posing a national security threat.
The FCC proposed requiring USF recipients to remove and replace existing equipment and services from such companies, including small cell gear.
To mitigate the impact on small, rural carriers, the agency proposed a reimbursement program to offset the transition costs. Wednesday’s action starts the process to collect information to help design a reimbursement program.
This information includes whether carriers own or are using equipment or services from Huawei or ZTE; the type of such equipment or services; the costs associated with purchasing and/or installing such equipment and services; and the costs associated with removing and replacing such equipment and services.
The information collection is mandatory for USF eligible telecommunications carriers and their subsidiaries and affiliates and data must be submitted on or before April 22. The information collection is voluntary for carriers that are not eligible telecommunications carriers. Submit information through the Commission portal.
5G Action Now Chairman Mike Rogers praised the action. The former Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence said: “Getting a handle on what Huawei and ZTE are doing and where they are within our communication networks is a critical step to mitigating the risks they represent.”
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