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FCC Amends Equipment Authorization Rules to Increase Security

Continuing its efforts to protect the U.S. communications networks from security threats, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced additional changes to its equipment authorization rules.

In an exhaustive Report and Order, Order, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission has adopted a number of revisions to its part 2 rules concerning equipment authorization processes under either equipment certification procedures through Telecommunications Certification Bodies (TCBs) or Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) procedures. The revisions include:

  • All applicants must now attest in their applications that the equipment for which they seek certification is not “covered” equipment under the Commission’s Covered List;
  • Entities that have been identified on the Covered List as producing “covered” equipment are now prohibited from obtaining equipment authorization through the Commission’s SDoC procedures;
  • Applicants for equipment certification must now designate a U.S. agent for services of process, regardless of whether the applicant is domestic- or foreign-based;
  • Provisions that allow the FCC to use streamlined procedures for revoking equipment authorizations if the application includes false statements or representations related to “covered” equipment; and
  • Strict prohibition against the authorization of all telecommunications and video surveillance equipment produced by Huawei and ZTE, including their subsidiaries and affiliates.

The Commission is also seeking comment on further revisions to the equipment authorization program, including whether component parts should be considered in the Commission’s prohibition on the authorization of “covered” equipment, and whether all applicants seeking equipment certification have a U.S-based responsible party to help ensure compliance with the Commission’s equipment authorization program rules.

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Maxwell’s Equations are eloquently simple yet excruciatingly complex. Their first statement by James Clerk Maxwell in 1864 heralded the beginning of the age of radio and, one could argue, the age of modern electronics.

Read the FCC’s Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on its equipment authorization program.

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