The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday proposed further restrictions on purchases of telecommunications equipment that pose a national security risk, strengthening its opposition to 5G wireless network providers and other Chinese technology.
The FCC voted unanimously to consider a proposal to ban US companies from buying future telecommunications equipment from companies like Huawei and ZTE of China. It also suggested the agency consider revoking previous authorizations for equipment purchases from a list of five companies deemed a threat to national security.
The agency’s action represents a bipartisan push in Washington to hit back at China’s stronghold across parts of the telecoms and technology supply chains. President Biden has continued the Trump administration’s tough stance against China’s use of government-linked technology companies to survey its own citizens and take leadership roles in cutting-edge technologies. advances like 5G, manufacturing and autonomous driving.
Proposals set in motion a longer process that includes public comment and a final vote. Rural telecommunications companies that depend on suppliers like ZTE for wireless technology have protested the restrictions.
Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC chair, said the proposal is intended to keep US networks secure.
“Unsecured networking equipment could undermine our 5G future, providing foreign actors with access to our communications,” she said. “Conversely, this could mean the ability to introduce viruses and malware into our network traffic, steal personal data, engage in theft of intellectual property and search companies.” police and government agencies”.
Huawei has criticized the agency’s proposal.
A Huawei representative said: “Blocking equipment purchases based on ‘predictive judgment’ regarding country of origin or brand is baseless, non-discriminatory, and will do nothing to protect protect the integrity of U.S. communications networks or supply chains.
The agency will begin soliciting public comments on the proposal and then put it before four commissioners for a final vote, possibly in a matter of weeks. It will need a majority vote to pass and is expected to receive unanimous support.