The FCC’s Push to Purge Huawei From US Networks
The rural carriers who rely on Huawei are wary of a costly “rip and replace” effort.
The trade war between China and the US has centered largely on escalating tariffs. But in many rural communities, the focus has shifted to the security of networks for which Chinese giants Huawei and ZTE have long provided equipment. As the 5G future approaches, the US is pushing small carriers to rip out and replace whatever parts of their infrastructure come from China, no matter the cost.
The Federal Communication Commission first proposed the drastic overhaul at the end of October, suggesting that access to FCC subsidies from the $8.5 billion Universal Service Fund (USF) be contingent on removing all Huawei and ZTE equipment. The Commission unanimously approved the initiative on November 22, setting off a wave of protests from the small mobile companies who now have to figure out how to do that—and how to pay for it.