FCC Considering Banning Chinese Telecommunications Equipment

(FreedomBeacon.com)- In a unanimous decision on Thursday, June 17, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to explore a proposal that would ban American companies from purchasing telecommunications equipment that poses national security risks.

This proposal would also retroactively revoke any prior authorizations already in place for equipment from companies listed as a national security threat. Among those on the FCC’s “covered list” of national security threats are Chinese state-owned telecommunications giants Huawei and ZTE.

In 2020, the FCC adopted new rules requiring any companies who receive federal funding to “rip and replace” equipment from telecommunications companies on the FCC’s “covered list.” However, this new proposal would extend that rule to every US company regardless of whether or not it receives federal funding.

The move was welcome news to the bipartisan group of lawmakers who have introduced similar bills in both the House and Senate.

Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Steve Scalise (R-LA) introduced the “Secure Equipment Act of 2021” in the House this past week to protect US telecommunications networks against Chinese national security threats.

Last month, the “Secure Equipment Act of 2021” was introduced in the Senate by Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ed Markey (D-MA).

The “Secure Equipment Act of 2021” would direct the FCC to no longer review or approve applications from telecommunications companies deemed a threat. It would also prevent integration and sales from telecom companies on the FCC’s “covered list” regardless of whether federal funds are involved.

In a statement released after the FCC’s decision, the four lawmakers applauded the decision, stating the FCC has “put national security first by keeping Chinese equipment out of U.S. telecommunications networks.”

In addition to Huawei and ZTE, the FCC’s “covered list” also includes the Chinese companies Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company and Dahua Technology Company.

Huwaei did not take the FCC’s decision well. In a statement to the New York Times, a Huawei representative called the move “discriminatory” and “without merit,” adding that the FCC’s decision would not protect US communications networks or supply chains.