The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously on Thursday to further the proposed ban on several Chinese telecom companies from having their equipment utilized in US communication networks. The ban applies to all future authorizations, and it would revoke any prior FCC approvals on these companies.
The proposed ban would stop the authorization of equipment manufactured and sold by the list of companies. This is conducted through the FCC’s Certification or Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity equipment. The standards of the certification have yet to be specified, but the focal point will lie in national security and purported communication risks.
According to Commissioner Brendan Carr, Huawei has received more than 3,000 approvals in past FCC telecommunication applications since 2018. The proposed ban would also ensure that all of these prior approvals would be revoked.
Acting Chairwoman of the FCC Jessica Rosenworcel stated that the FCC has adopted a three-pronged approach to handling the issue.
- The first is to add new measures to exclude untrustworthy equipment from our communications networks. This includes a $1.9 billion appropriation from Congress to replace network communicators that are using technology from the listed companies.
- The second way is to expedite US 5G technological developments and rely on the US’s own technology, mitigating the risk for foreign intervention.
- The final way is to look at more ways to prevent network attacks by upgrading the current security infrastructure. This means that scrutiny goes beyond the network equipment and supply chain and looks at the “Internet of Things” as a whole.
Huawei protested the proposed ban in February, calling it “burdensome and stigmatizing.” Chinese Commissioner Zhao Lijian said, “we urge the US to stop stretching the concept of national security and stop politicising economic issues.”
These proposed bans would be subjected to further public opinion before a final vote in July.