Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has introduced proposed rules aimed at safeguarding U.S. communication networks from national security threats.
FCC said Monday the first of a two-part proposal is a draft order that would prohibit communications firms from using Universal Service Fund to buy services or equipment from ZTE, Huawei Technologies and other telecommunications companies that pose a risk to national security.
The other is a draft notice of proposed rulemaking that would direct certain telecom carriers that are USF recipients to remove from their networks existing services and equipment from designated firms. The proposed rule would also seek feedback on how to provide carriers with financial support to help them work with trusted suppliers.
“As the United States upgrades its networks to the next generation of wireless technologies—5G—we cannot ignore the risk that that the Chinese government will seek to exploit network vulnerabilities in order to engage in espionage, insert malware and viruses, and otherwise compromise our critical communications networks,” Pai said. “The FCC has a part to play in combatting this risk by ensuring that its $8.5 billion Universal Service Fund does not underwrite national security threats.”