Boris Johnson will open up United Kingdom 5G to Huawei

Clay Curtis
October 29, 2019

In a statement released today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will soon vote on two proposals to prevent USA companies from doing business with Huawei and ZTE.

About a dozen rural United States telecom carriers that depend on affordable Huawei and ZTE switches and equipment were in discussion with Ericsson and Nokia to replace their Chinese equipment, Reuters reported in June.

Congress has been considering legislation to authorize up to $1 billion for small and rural wireless providers to replace network equipment from the Chinese companies.

The first proposal would prevent companies receiving money from the FCC's annual $8.5 billion Universal Service Fund from purchasing equipment and services from Huawei and ZTE.

The proposal arrives as the U.S. government has been trying to stop countries across the world from buying 5G equipment from Huawei, which is known to sell telecommunication gear at lower costs.

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An FCC official said the agency is working to collect information on the costs that rural carriers would face to comply and how much funding has been paid out for ZTE or Huawei equipment in the past, according to the report.

The developments were preceded by US President Donald Trump's meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka in June, during which Trump said that American suppliers would get the green light to sell components and spare parts to Huawei if there is no threat to US national security. Pai called the use of their gear an "unacceptable risk" in a commentary published on Monday.

ZTE did not immediately respond to a Reuters' request for comment.

Huawei declined to comment on the FCC's proposal.

The British government, in turn, moved to delay its decision on whether to include Huawei in the UK's 5G infrastructure, with British Culture and Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright stressing that until U.S. policy is "clear" Britain will not make any conclusions on Huawei.

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