Senate approves $1 billion budget to help rural carriers replace Huawei gear

Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi said in a statement:

“Telecommunications equipment from certain foreign adversaries poses a significant threat to our national security, economic prosperity, and the future of US leadership in advanced wireless technology. By establishing a ‘rip and replace’ program, this legislation will provide meaningful safeguards for our communications networks and more secure connections for Americans. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for coming together to help move this bill to the President’s desk.”

A Huawei rep criticized the legislation, telling WSJ that it’s “considerably underfunded” and will “simply reduce the ability of broadband providers to provide the most secure network equipment and in turn hurt local consumers and businesses.”

The FCC has also just started collecting information from carriers receiving Universal Service Fund subsidies regarding the Huawei and ZTE equipment they use. It will use the data it collects to help make its reimbursement program feasible and to figure out if it needs to apply certain measures to ensure a smooth transition.

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