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  • Matthew Spencer - Tech Journalist

US telecoms requested $5.6 billion to rip out insecure Huawei, ZTE equipment’s


The US government is forcing its way to replace Chinese telecom gears to satisfy security measures. One hundred eighty-one applications were sent to the government for having a place in the infrastructure upgrade process. The FCC is regulating selecting suitable participants to replace telecom gears from Huawei, ZTE among many.



A request of $5.6 billion is sent to the FCC by US telecommunications providers. The fund will be divided among companies who are the native US and will be rebuilt, upgraded and maintain critical infrastructure.


They will handle even disposing of the process. In July 2020, the FCC declared Huawei and ZTE threats to national security. A follow-up came in December 2020 by FCC again, saying they will remove Huawei and ZTE equipment as part of removing China’s Telecom’s authorisation.


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched Secure and Trustee Commutations Networks Reimbursement for $1.9 billion. Congress permitted it as they found the motive to remove overseas telecom gears. The reimbursement will initially target small service providers with less than 10 million customers. It will be the first batch to receive federal funds to improve its communication network.


According to FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel reported on the Congress that around 181 applicants are asking for a total of $5.6 billion from the FCC to remove harmful gear. The funding will help replace, remove, dispose and implement new kits and remove Chinese products from surveillance systems.


She talked more about the review process of applicants as they are “looking forward to working with Congress to ensure that there is enough funding available for this programmed to advance Congress’s security goals and ensure that the US will continue to lead the way on 5G security.”


29 October 2021 to 28 January 2022 was the open date for applicants to submit their applicants and budget to the FCC. It turns out Congress may need to approve around $3.7 billion more to fund the venture adequately.


The US regulators signed new licenses for Huawei and ZTE as they are already banned from working in the US critical infrastructure due to security issues. From now on, the Chinese telecom equipment providers are revoked from working in critical infrastructure, and native telecoms will handle it under FCC’s approval. 2021 Secure Equipment Act mentions explicitly a few regulations, among which Huawei, ZTE and other Chinese telecoms do not meet those regulations.


Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program (SCRP) under FCC took in applications as part of the selection process. Though the FCC set up a $1.9 billion fund for the program, they received almost three times the total sum. It remains unclear whether two-thirds of the applicants will make it to the final selection with the expanded budget or the budget will stretch.


T&C from regulators reports “costs reasonably incurred for the removal, replacement, and disposal of covered communications equipment or services that pose a national security risk.” Small providers of at least 10 million customers include schools, libraries, and healthcare providers. Entirely ripping out and replacing networking equipment and services set by Chinese telecom company Huawei and ZTE are the first to go out.


FCC officially designating Huawei and ZTE as a national threat did not surprise the regulators as the government officials, along with FCC was, in talks for national security. And there is no place more significant to improve national security than the digital medium of data collection and allocation.


US carriers asked the FCC for $5.6 billion to replace Huawei and ZTE equipment was in a robust supply chain program. Congress demand a rip and replace program to ensure that the US will continue to lead the way on 5G security.

Official files are uploaded here.

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