WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission today began collecting information from telecommunications carriers on the use of Huawei and ZTE equipment and services in their networks. This follows the FCC's adoption of a rule barring the use of Universal Service funds to purchase equipment and services from companies posing a national security threat. The FCC has proposed requiring carriers receiving Universal Service funds to remove and replace existing equipment and services from such companies. To mitigate the impact of this proposal on affected entities, and in particular small, rural carriers, the FCC has also proposed a reimbursement program to offset the transition costs. Today's action initiates the process to collect information to aid in the design of a reimbursement program and inform any other potential FCC actions to protect the communications supply chain.
"Huawei and ZTE have been initially designated as threats to national security. Given that those designations may become final this spring, we are moving forward quickly to identify where equipment and services from these suppliers are embedded in our communications networks and, where they do have a foothold, to be in a position to help remove them," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. "Today we've begun to collect the data we will need to protect our networks and protect the American people."
Specifically, the FCC is collecting information from U.S. telecommunications carriers receiving Universal Service funds, known as eligible telecommunications carriers, and their affiliates and subsidiaries. This information includes whether carriers own or are using equipment or services from Huawei or ZTE; the type of such equipment or services; the costs associated with purchasing and/or installing such equipment and services; and the costs associated with removing and replacing such equipment and services.
The information collection is mandatory for eligible telecommunications carriers and their subsidiaries and affiliates and data must be submitted on or before April 22, 2020. The information collection is voluntary for carriers that are not eligible telecommunications carriers. The Commission launched a portal through which this information will be submitted at: www.fcc.gov/supplychain.