FCC Seeks Feedback on Proposed Telecom Provider Reimbursement Program

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is looking for input on a proposed rule to reimburse eligible telecommunications carriers that deployed components from blacklisted firms as part of the Universal Service Fund program.

The FCC said in a Federal Register notice that it plans to modify the reimbursement program and identify “providers of advanced communications service” that will be covered by the agency’s “Protecting Against National Security Threats to the Communications Supply Chain” rulemaking.

Under the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019, service providers may use USF allocations to replace equipment and services obtained no more than 60 days from companies that pose national risks such as ZTE and Huawei.

FCC also initially required ETCs to report Huawei or ZTE equipment in their inventory and provide cost estimates for replacement work.

In addition, the agency is seeking feedback on potential modifications to application and review procedures, disposal requirements and suggested replacements for risky telecom equipment, management software and virtual communications platforms.

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