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FCC Crackdown: Huawei and ZTE Face Ban on Certifying U.S. Wireless Gear

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed changes to its rule for certifying telecommunications equipment that would end testing lab certification for certain entities that pose a potential threat to U.S. national security.

According to a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) released in early May, the Commission would prohibit any entities identified on the Commission’s “Covered List” from participating in the FCC’s equipment authorization program. The Covered List includes major wireless equipment manufacturers, such as Huawei and ZTE, that, in the Commission’s opinion, “pose an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the security and safety of United States persons.”

The NPRM also would require telecommunications certification bodies (TCBs) to adopt new information collection requirements that would require any TCB to report entities that hold a 5% or greater direct or indirect equity stake and/or voting interest in them.

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Finally, the NPRM seeks public comment on whether the Commission should impose eligibility restrictions on TCBs and other testing laboratories based on lists identifying potential national security risks developed by other Executive Branch agencies.

Read the text of the FCC’s draft NPRM on its equipment authorization program.

The draft NPRM will be voted on at the FCC’s May Open Meeting, scheduled for May 23rd. Once published in the Federal Register, comments on the NPRM can be filed through the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) at www.fcc/gov/ecfs (Reference Docket No. 24-136).

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