FCC Launches Efforts to Replace Certain 5G Equipment

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted rules to facilitate the removal of 5G equipment from suppliers deemed to be a national security risk, and to provide funds that would reimburse smaller providers for the removal and replacement of that equipment.

According to the terms of a Second Report and Order issued in early December, the FCC will be required to publish a list of communications equipment and service that must be removed from service under the terms of the Security and Trusted Communications Network Act of 2019. An FCC Report and Order issued in November 2019 expressly designates equipment and services from China-based companies Huawei and ZTE as falling under the scope of that Act.

The Order also sets rules for the establishment of a Secure and Trusted Communications Network Reimbursement Program. Pending the appropriation of funds by the U.S. Congress, the program would reimburse certain providers for the removal and replacement of advanced communications equipment and services named on the Commission’s list. The Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau and Office of Economics and Analytics estimate that the program will cost at least $1.6 billion to fully fund the expected reimbursements costs.

Finally, to facilitate continued monitoring of compliance, the Order implements strict reporting requirements on the part of advanced communications service providers regarding their compliance with the terms of the Order.

Read the text of the FCC’s Second Report and Order on the replacement of banned 5G equipment.

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